Kraft Heinz HQ heading to downtown Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Kraft Heinz will take over five floors of the Aon Center on Randolph Street starting next year.

Currently, Kraft Heinz has its local headquarters in Northfield. The newly-merged companies Kraft and Heinz had planned to have two headquarters: one in Pittsburgh and one in Northfield. But on Thursday, the company announced a move to downtown Chicago in the coming months.

Kraft said in a statement Thursday: "This move will return the Kraft brand and business to its entrepreneurial roots in Chicago where founder J.L. Kraft first began selling cheese to local merchants in 1903. The Kraft Heinz Company is proud of its rich history in the Chicago area and the Company remains committed to our co-headquarters of Pittsburgh and Chicago."

"One of the things I knew about this company and the operation was they wanted to create their own culture. And you can't do that where you are, so I laid out Chicago's strengths," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

Emanuel said the discussion with Kraft Heinz began after their merger was finalized.

Emanuel adds the company to a list of corporations that have relocated to Chicago in recent years. He says the city's pitch to bring Kraft Heinz downtown did not involve any tax breaks.

"We had some real great strengths, we doubled down on those and made those the frontal of our pitch and two years running, Chicago's the No. 1 company for corporate relocations and here's another Fortune 50 company making Chicago its corporate home," Emanuel said.

Kraft Heinz has over 2,000 employees in Northfield and Glenview. The Glenview research facility is expected to remain there.

A Kraft Heinz spokesperson would not reveal how many jobs from Northfield would be coming downtown.
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