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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

$400 million Kraft Heinz distribution center coming to DeKalb

(Mike Mozart via Flickr)
A row of Kraft Mac and Cheese sitting on a shelf down an aisle. The Kraft Heinz company, who make Kraft Mac and Cheese, are bringing a distribution center to DeKalb. (Mike Mozart via Flickr)

DeKALB – The city of Dekalb can begin to prepare for an economic boost as Kraft Heinz is bringing “one of the largest automated consumer packaged goods distribution centers in North America.”

On July 13, Kraft Heinz Co., the company that makes ketchup and instant mac and cheese, announced that a 775,000 square foot Kraft Heinz distribution plant will be built in DeKalb by 2025.

The Kraft Heinz plant will feature state-of-the art automation technology, and it will use the DeKalb railways as national railway access to send different food and beverages in and out. 

Bill Nicklas, the DeKalb city manager, said the plant is expected to bring more than 150 jobs to the area when it opens.

“There will be people with a variety of skills working there 24/7 with the expectation that they’ll be able to support their families on those jobs. That’s probably the most important piece of the economic impact,” Nicklas said.

Nicklas said that the Kraft Heinz plant will improve DeKalb’s tax base, in particular the industrial tax base.

“It helps diversify our tax base. Tax base meaning we’ve got residential, commercial and industrial properties,” Nicklas said. “This builds up the industrial side in a very substantial way.”

Jeff Sullivan, a DeKalb resident, shared his perspective on the plant bringing tax dollars to the city when asked at the DeKalb City Farmers Market. 

“This is one of many companies coming to DeKalb. It feeds a lot of tax money to the city, why would anyone not want that?” Sullivan said.

Joey Burgess, another DeKalb resident, raised concern with the Kraft Heinz distribution center.

“I think there are enough warehouses already in DeKalb,” Burgess said. “It just adds more traffic here and to the area. It is a small town. I moved to DeKalb in 1996, and I have watched it expand. It is just the warehouses that are bringing more traffic.”

The plant will distribute more than 60% of the company’s foodservice business and 30% of all dry goods across all of North America, according to a press release from the city of DeKalb.

With the Kraft Heinz plant being set to open in 2025, more updates and details will  be released as opening approaches. Updates will be released on the city of DeKalb’s website. 


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