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Ferrero SpA

Ferrero SpA (Italian pronunciation: [ferˈrɛːro]) is an Italian manufacturer of branded chocolate and confectionery products and is the second biggest chocolate producer and confectionery company in the world. It was founded in 1946 in Alba, Piedmont, Italy, by Pietro Ferrero a confectioner and small-time pastry maker who laid the groundwork for Nutella and famously added hazelnut to save money on chocolate. The company saw a period of tremendous growth and success under Pietro's son Michele Ferrero, who in turn handed over daily operations to his sons. His son Pietro (the founder's grandson), who oversaw global business, died on April 18, 2011, in a cycling accident in South Africa at the age of 47.

The Ferrero Group worldwide – now headed by CEO Giovanni Ferrero – includes 38 trading companies, 18 factories, approximately 40,000 employees, and produces around 365,000 tons of Nutella each year. Ferrero International SA's headquarters is in Luxembourg. Ferrero SpA is a private company owned by the Ferrero family and has been described as "one of the world's most secretive firms". Reputation Institute's 2009 survey ranks Ferrero as the most reputable company in the world. The company's financial results for the fiscal year ending August 31 2016, showed consolidated sales growth of 8.2% from the previous fiscal year.


In 1946, Pietro Ferrero invented a cream of hazelnuts and cocoa, derived from gianduja and called it Pasta Gianduja. The initial product came in solid loaves wrapped in aluminium foil, which had to be sliced with a knife, and was succeeded by the spreadable version Supercrema.

With assistance from his brother Giovanni Ferrero, Pietro Ferrero created his new company to produce and market the initial product. Following his work, Pietro was succeeded by his son Michele Ferrero as chief executive. Michele and his wife Maria Franca relaunched his father's recipe as Nutella, which was first sold in 1964. After World War II, they opened production sites and offices abroad and Nutella eventually became the world's leading chocolate-nut spread brand. Ferrero is the world's largest consumer of hazelnuts, buying up 25% of global production in 2014. The company is currently run by Giovanni Ferrero, grandson of Pietro and son to Michele Ferrero.

The company places great emphasis on secrecy, reportedly to guard against industrial espionage. It has never held a press conference and does not allow media visits to its plants. Ferrero's products are made with machines designed by an in-house engineering department.

In 2014, Ferrero acquired Oltan Group, the largest hazelnut supplier in the world.

Ferrero acquired the British chocolate retailer Thorntons in June 2015 for £112 million.

In 2016, Ferrero SpA acquired Belgian biscuit brands Delacre and DeliChoc from United Biscuits.

In March 2017, Ferrero SpA bought the chocolate maker Fannie May from 1-800-Flowers.com. The deal closed on May 30, 2017 and Ferrero paid $115 million. Ferrero mentioned that they hope to expand Fannie May as a whole. They want to provide Fannie May locations across the nation, not just in Chicago.

On 30 March 2017, it was announced that Lapo Civiletti will be the first non-family CEO in the history of the company and will take up the role from 1 September, while Giovanni Ferrero will become the executive chairman focusing on long-term strategy.

In October 2017, Ferrero purchased the Ferrara Candy Company.

On 16 January 2018, it was reported that Ferrero was purchasing Nestlé's American confectionery business for $2.8 billion. The deal does not affect Nestlé's confectionery business elsewhere, and does not include Kit Kat or the Toll House baking line. The acquisition was completed in March 2018.

On 1 April 2019, Ferrero further expanded its US business when it bought a collection of businesses previously owned by the Kellogg Company. Included in the deal are Kellogg's cookie, fruit and fruit-flavored snack, ice cream cone, and pie crust businesses. These include famous brands such as Keebler, Famous Amos, Mother's, Murray's and Little Brownie Bakers - one of the producers of the cookies for the Girl Scouts of the USA - as well as six owned food manufacturing facilities in Allyn, Washington; Augusta, Georgia; Florence and Louisville, Kentucky; two plants in Chicago, Illinois; as well as a leased manufacturing facility in Baltimore, Maryland. Ferrero is paying the Kellogg Company $1.3 billion for the deal.


Ferrero produces several lines of confectionery goods under various brand names, as well as the chocolate-hazelnut spread, Nutella. The company has produced Nutella since 1964. The production of Nutella uses one-quarter of the world's annual hazelnut supply.

It also produces the line of Ferrero branded chocolate products, including Pocket Coffee, Mon Chéri, Confetteria Raffaello, Ferrero Küsschen, and the Ferrero Prestige line which comprises of three different brands of pralines: Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Rondnoir, and Garden Coco.

Ferrero's Kinder brand line of chocolate products include Kinder Surprise, Kinder Joy, Kinder Chocolate, Kinder Happy Hippo, Kinder Maxi, Kinder Duplo, Kinder Country, Kinder Délice, and Kinder Bueno.

The company also produces Tic Tac candy available in mint, cinnamon, and fruit flavors, along with sugar free versions. Other Ferrero products include Raffaello, Giotto, Fiesta Ferrero, Hanuta chocolate hazelnut-filled wafers, and Gran Soleil frozen desserts which won the company an innovation award in March 2011. Ferrero has been producing Thorntons products since acquiring the company in 2015.


In 1983, the Ferrero Foundation was established in Alba, Piedmont at the wish of Michele Ferrero. The foundation promotes activities in the areas of art, science, history, and literature by organizing conventions, conferences, seminars, and exhibitions. It also offers health and social assistance to ex-employees of the group for at least 25 years.

Pietro Ferrero

Pietro Ferrero, 2 September 1898 – 2 March 1949, was the founder of Ferrero SpA, an Italian confectionery and chocolatier company. His company invented Nutella, a hazelnut-cream spread, which is now sold in over 160 countries. The famous Ferrero Rocher is also made by his company, Ferrero, as were Tic-Tacs and various Kinder chocolates.

Giovanni Ferrero

Giovanni Ferrero, born 21 September 1964 is an Italian businessman. He assumed the leadership of the confectionery company Ferrero SpA after the death of his brother Pietro Ferrero in 2011. He has a net worth of $22 billion as of June 2019 according to Bloomberg.


Raffaello is a spherical coconut-almond confection that Italian manufacturer Ferrero brought to the market in 1990. The total almond content accounts for 8% of the weight, and the total coconut content is 23.5%.

The praline comprises of a spherical wafer which is filled with a white milk cream and white blanched almonds. It is surrounded by a coconut layer. Raffaello contains no chocolate, but does contain lactose, making Raffaello incompatible for consumers with lactose intolerance. However, almonds instead of hazelnuts are included, which is relevant for those allergic to hazelnuts.

Ferrero Rocher

The Ferrero Rocher was introduced in 1982 in Europe. Shortly after release, production was halted due to a problem with label printing. Michele Ferrero, the credited inventor, named the chocolate after a grotto in the Roman Catholic shrine of Lourdes, Rocher de Massabielle. The word Rocher comes from French and means rock or boulder.


The chocolate consisted of a whole roasted hazelnut (but since late 2017, only part of a hazelnut has been used) encased in a thin wafer shell filled with hazelnut chocolate then covered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. Its ingredients are milk chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, skim milk powder, butter oil, lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin (artificial flavor), hazelnuts, palm oil, wheat flour, whey (milk), low fat cocoa powder, sodium bicarbonate (leavening agent), and salt.


The production process is secretive, with no smartphones or laptops allowed inside, and, as of 2015, few journalists have ever been invited to visit. As of 2015, the production in the Alba factory is 24 million Rochers a day.

The sweet is produced by machinery. The process begins with flat sheets of wafer with hemispheres moving down an assembly line. The hemispheres of the wafers are then filled with a chocolate hazelnut cream and part of a hazelnut. Next, two of these wafer sheets, one with a hazelnut and one with hazelnut chocolate cream, are clamped together. The excess wafer is cut away producing wafer balls. These balls are then coated with a layer of chocolate, a layer of chopped hazelnuts, and a final layer of chocolate before the chocolate is packaged.


Roughly 3.6 billion Ferrero Rocher are sold each year in over 40 countries. These include 28 countries in Europe, 9 countries in the Americas, 9 countries in Asia, 2 countries in the Oceania region, and 2 countries in Africa.

Kinder Surprise

Kinder Surprise, also known as Kinder Egg or Ovetto Kinder (ovetto means small egg in Italian) or Kinder Surprise Egg is a candy manufactured by the Italian company Ferrero since 1974. It was co-created by Michele Ferrero and William Salice, and is one of several candies sold under the Kinder brand. Each chocolate egg surrounds a plastic capsule that contains a small toy. Kinder Surprise was originally created with children in mind, replicating an Italian Easter family tradition in which adults give children large chocolate eggs with a toy inside. However, Kinder Surprise toys have become collectible for adults as well. Since 1974, 30 billion Kinder Surprise eggs have been sold worldwide.

Tic Tac

Tic Tac (stylized as "tic tac") is a brand of small, hard mints manufactured by the Italian company Ferrero. They were first produced in 1968 and are now available in a variety of flavors in over 100 countries.

Tic Tac are usually sold in small transparent plastic boxes with a flip-action living hinge lid. Originally, Tic Tac were dyed specific colors for different flavors, although in many countries the transparent plastic boxes are now colored and the actual Tic Tacs are white.

Tic Tac has featured advertising that emphasizes the low calorie count of the mints. Most flavors of the mint have approximately 1.9 calories per mint. There is also some controversy over the fact that in the United States, tic tac list the sugar content as 0g despite the mints being approximately 90% sugar (depending on the flavor). This stems from the fact that a serving size is one 0.49g mint, and the FDA permits manufacturers to list sugar (or other nutritional components) as 0g if they contain less than 0.5g. In at least some jurisdictions, the 0g now features a footnote that clarifies "less than 0.5g".