The U.S. food company behind Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers says it has begun construction of a $90 million biscuit plant in Bahrain to keep up with growing demand in the Middle East and Africa for Mondelez International's products.

The multinational conglomerate behind some of the world's most popular food snacks inaugurated the beginning of construction at the 250,000 square meters (2.7 million square feet) plot for the new plant on Sunday. Mondelez International says the facility will have capacity to produce 90,000 tons per year.

The company said in a statement that its plant in the Arab Gulf island-nation will produce brands such as Oreo, Ritz and TUC in the initial phase, which will create 300 jobs. Full commercial production is scheduled to start early next year.