As a result of those closures, the Henrico plant became a strategic geographic site for the company’s operations on the East Coast, Guzzinati said.
The plant already makes Oreo cookies. But Mondelez is in the process of shifting equipment of its key Oreo production from New Jersey to Henrico, meaning that Oreo cookies will be made at two U.S. plants — here and in Portland, Ore.
Construction on the 68,000-square-foot building is nearly completed, but the company will be adding the new equipment to that part of the factory complex over the next year.
The investment adds incremental production to the factory, Guzzinati said.
“This is pretty exciting news,” said Anthony J. Romanello, executive director of the Henrico Economic Development Authority. “They are bullish on Henrico and bullish on Virginia.”
The plant, which opened in 1973, employs about 500 workers, including about 400 unionized employees.
It had been owned by Nabisco and later by Kraft Foods Inc. It is now part of Mondelez, which was created when Kraft Foods split into two companies in 2012.
In 2014, the company invested almost $50 million in the plant to add a state-of-the-art manufacturing line for Ritz crackers and to modernize some other manufacturing assets.