What a world without Nutella!

The biggest Ferrero success, not only for Italian families!

Nutella  is the brand name of a hazelnut-based sweet spread registered by the Italian company Ferrero at the end of 1963. The recipe was developed from an earlier Ferrero spread released in 1949. Nutella is sold in over 75 countries.

Gianduja is a type of chocolate containing approximately 50% almond and hazelnut paste. It was developed in Piedmont,  after taxes on cocoa beans hindered the diffusion of conventional chocolate.

Pietro Ferrero, who owned a patisserie in Alba, in the Langhe district of Piedmont, an area known for the production of hazelnuts, sold an initial batch of 300 kilograms of “Pasta Gianduja” in 1946. This was originally a solid block, but in 1949, Pietro started to sell a creamy version in 1951 as “Supercrema“.

In 1963, Pietro’s son Michele revamped Supercrema with the intention of marketing it across Europe. Its composition was modified and it was renamed “Nutella.” The first jar of Nutella left the Ferrero factory in Alba on 20 April 1964. The product was an instant success and remains widely popular. The estimated Italian production of Nutella averages 179,000 tons per year.

Composition: Nutella is a modified form of gianduja. The exact recipe is a secret closely guarded by Ferrero. According to the product label, the main ingredients of Nutella are sugar and vegetable oils, followed by hazelnut, cocoa solids and skimmed milk, which together comprise at most 28% of the ingredients. The recipe for Nutella varies in different countries: for example, the Italian formulation uses less sugar than the product sold in France. Nutella is marketed as “hazelnut cream” in many countries. Under Italian law, it cannot be labeled as a chocolate cream, as it does not meet minimum cocoa solids concentration criteria.

Nutella is marketed in a variety of packages: its typical containers have always been made of glass, though plastic containers are more common in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Some of the most popular glass containers are quite small, the size of a standard water glass; they can be used as normal table glasses once the product has been consumed. They have a simple white lid on the top that is disposed of when the product is finished.

Just look at that photo and….Choose YOUR size!

What makes Nutella special is

– its traditional recipe

– it is timeless

– it is suitable for everybody…except those who are alergic to hazelnuts 😉

– you can eat it at breakfast or better whenever you want!

…and finally, but I could go on until tomorrow, you can put it whereever you want!  This is just a deliciuos example:

Summarizing: Big company, Huge Success, International Product, Many People, Many Sizes, Many Uses…

What a world without Nutella!

Published in: on maggio 30, 2010 at 10:39 am  Comments (17)  

Chocolate sales at Despar group

When I came back to Padua for Easter, I went to the supermarket and I thught that it could have been interesting to change my point of view: instead of focusing on only on production, why don’ t I analyse distribution too? So I asked the director of the Eurospar seat where my family is a regular client and where I was doing shopping that day, if he could supply me some information about the brands and kinds of products that they sell more. Unfortunatly each seat cannot release specific and technical datas, but he gave me the phone number of the Department, which controls the area of Triveneto and the city of Ferrara.

After one month Fabio Zurma, Sales Manager of the Despar group, seat of Mestrino(Padua) wrote me an e-mail containig some datas about the chocolate brands that they sell more in the area that they control (Triveneto+Ferrara).

This is what it came out, summerized in three graphics per :




What can we say?

First, that my predictions about the “Majors” were in part true, concerning Nestlè and Ferrero, and in part false because I’ ve never considered Loaker and Kraft Foods. That means I have too review the category! 🙂

Second, that my favourite chocolate brand Lindt owns less that the 10% of the market, which is a lot for a single company, but not enough to have the leadership and to compete with Ferrero. Moreover Lindor candies, my favourite candies, are supposed to be among the most sold in the market, but they strongly suffer for the competition of Poket-coffee, Mon cheri, Ferero Rocher, Raffaello…

Third, that an old company like Zaini, founded in 1913, still survives in the same market of huge multinationals like Nestlè, it means that they were able to develope a competitive value, difficult to copy and that they differenciated production during the time, conquering free niches and several targets.

Published in: on maggio 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm  Comments (28)  

Not just production: chocoEvents and chocoFacilities not only for chocoFuns

For the past eight years, the city of Perugia in Umbria,  has been home to the Eurochocolate Festival, it is Italy’s biggest chocofest. Perugia is home to the Perugina chocolate factory (now owned by Nestle), creator of one of Italy’s most famous mass market chocolate confections, the Perugina Baci. Chocolate is such a big deal around here that the town also holds other events during the year, including the upcoming Eurochocolate Christmas. Now, they’ve had to invent a pretty fancy place for the world’s chocolate lovers to stay, a place worthy of them.

The Food of Gods becomes the present protagonist of human existence, influencing costumes and practices of common people and their daily life style. Though it means, for example communicating through a chocolate bar instead of a mobile phone, as it appears on the Italian communication campaign named: “Cioccolato senti quento è buono ;-)” – “Feel how good it is ;-)”.

The images of the campaign actually portray many ordinary people using a chocolate bar as a cellphone for chatting, texting, taking pictures, listening to the music…

Chocolate succeeds in catching modern technology in a funny and tempting trap. It turns in sweet batteries – The Chocopower,  that bucks your day up and belongs to wellness and health after the entry of Chocopirin-A, already rebaptized “Chocolate Aspirin”. In Eurochocolate, then, insatiable lovers of chocolate, adults and children, will experience the Chocolate Era plunging in a present and futuristic dimension of over glowing delicacy.

Eurochocolate means also going through the culture of a fascinating town like Perugia, plenty of history, art and traditions that in nine days time becomes a huge chocolaterie en plein air to discover, also thanks to the successful Chococard (5,00 €) offering sweet advantages for a funny experience in the name of leisure and goodness of chocolate. Advantages that will be immediately tangible among the stands of the Chocolate Show and those of the Rocca Pralina, two suggestive areas with more then 150 chocolate brands coming from each angle of the world.

Eurochocolate is also the instrument for promoting protection of important values as solidarity, biodiversity, traceability and sustainability of the production process of cocoa, aiming to guarantee a sustainable future based on the decrease of the differences between developed and developing countries.

With that mission, Eurochocolate World was born three years ago: a really appreciated vessel that promotes joint activities sponsored by international organization as ICCO (International Cocoa Organization) and Fairtrade TransFair Italia, one of the main organization for the certification of fair-trade products. Since then, Eurochocolate World confirms the success of the event in Perugia on this field as well, through concrete actions for economy development and awareness campaigns, beginning with the lessons of Equoscuola focused on fair-trade chocolate culture and addressed to the youngest generations.


And there is something more…

…They came up with the Etruscan Chocohotel an hotel devoted to our favorite substance.
That’s right, a chocolate hotel, as in chocolate, chocolate, everywhere you turn, and a restaurant menu full of sweet and savory chocolate dishes. The walls are lined with the history of chocolate, with drinking chocolate cups and chocolate labels of times gone by. The chocolate boutique carries chocolate beauty products in addition to the fine chocolates from top makers around the world.

It occurred to that something so basic, so simple, should have been invented long before now! Why hasn’t someone, on some committee somewhere long ago, proclaimed “Henceforth, all hotels shall be chocolate hotels!” Now that’s more like it.

Okay, I know what your thinking, and you’re right, you’re right, perhaps I was a bit hasty. All hotels cannot be chocolate hotels. That is completely impractical. Have to leave room the caramel hotels, the cake hotels, and of course the pie hotels. Okay, now we’ve got it.
Anyway, he important thing I want you to focus on is that there is not only choco-production for different targets, but also choco-distribution, promotion and entertainment, you just have to take part and
enjoy it!

Published in: on maggio 9, 2010 at 9:12 pm  Comments (11)  

Chocolab: How you build the How

There is a place near Perugia where the art of chocolate becomes reality. It is a real school where pleasure, culture, taste and wellbeing are mixed together to satisfy your will of chocolate.

From our point of view it can be considered the fusion between the multinational business of Nestlè, which owns Perugina, the perfection of chocolatiers’ experience and the common passion for cooking of a mother: here you can learn, step by step, how to transfom a raw bean into a masterpiece of delight.

The school is innovative because it teaches you not only to cook, bake or prepare candies, but also to taste chocolate and distinguish different kinds of beans, different processing techniques…again we come back to the comparison with wine: someliers like chocolatiers.

The school offers 14 workplaces with all instruments and equipment that you need to realize with your hands small masterpieces of beauty and delight. Courses start from chocolate origins, its history, its characteristics, the manufacturing process…in order to discover the secrets of the Gold of Maya and the secret of Perugina experience since 1907.

Perugina courses are directed to children, young people, men and omen who share the passion and curiosity for chocolate. At each course you meet people who accompain you in this experience and a visit to the chocolate museum and the facoty is included: a way to disover both the industrial and the artistic soul of this famous italian brand.

The courses are divided into:

Classicals: Master Milk, Master Dark

Artist’s courses: Tellit with a kiss, create your praline, 5 senses of creative pleasure,lessons of chocolate

Theme courses: Christmas tree, Easter eggs, Mum sweet mum

Courses for professional schools: chocolate, what a passion, future job

School courses: minidive, dive


The school has been the protagonist of several well-known events:                                                                                                                         

 14 Donna Moderna readers had the possibility to spend an entire day into the school and taking part in courses with the most skillful italian chocolatries, to learn how to please their children and husbunds with chocolate delights. They came home with a tray of self-made pralines!

– “Lessons of Chocolate”: some scens of the film “Lezioni di cioccolato” have been shot here. The casting, Neri Marcorè, Luca Argentero and  Violante Placido followed a course in this school to learn how to create perfect candies.

Try this nice experience, take part in a course, the famous Kamal Pyramid, known thank to the film, has its origin here!

Published in: on maggio 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm  Comments (32)  

From mass to self production:the keyword is “fair”

Chocoday -2009 October, 12th

Open Chocolatiers is this year’s big innovation, in collaboration with Fairtrade Italia. Teaching activities at schools are back, along with the partnership with CoorDown for the National Down Syndrome Day

 Good because it is made exclusively with cocoa butter and mass, without any added fat or vegetable oil. Good because it defends the ethical and social values tied to its production. And good because it is monitored throughout every production phase in terms of biodiversity, transparency and traceability.

For the fifth consecutive year, Monday 12 October 2009, was again Chocoday, the National Cocoa and Chocolate Day created and promoted by Eurochocolate in collaboration with Fairtrade Italia, the organisation that certifies fair-trade products to celebrate and promote Good Chocolate in Italy and around the world.

 Thanks to the partnership with Fairtrade Italia, the first Open Chocolatiers event will be organised this year: chocolatiers and patisseries all over Italy will allow the public to enter and discover the secrets of Italy’s best artisanal chocolate, made exclusively with chocolate certified by Fairtrade.

Cocoa producers, exporters and importers, chocolate producers, patisseries, chocolatiers, trade associations, schools, NGOs, institutions, companies and choco-lovers can offer a tangible sign of their desire to protect the quality of chocolate by signing the Chocoday Manifesto and organising activities to learn more about chocolate, distinguished by the official Chocoday logo (which can be requested free of charge).


Educational activities are held again at schools, where children and teens will receive an original “learning kit”. They also participate in laboratories, lessons and workshops, where they get in-depth information about the production chain, from cocoa plantations to the chocolate that is regularly served at our tables, in order to encourage aware consumption from an early age.

Following last year’s success, once again Chocoday is supporting National Down Syndrome Day, promoted by the Coordination of Down Syndrome Associations. It was held on Sunday 11 October 2009, in more than 200 squares in Italy, in order to encourage respect and awareness of diversity, overcome prejudices and promote true integration in schools and workplaces.

In short, Chocoday is an important initiative in order to spread the proper culture of chocolate and promote policies that can support an ethical profile in the sector’s economic sphere.

Published in: on maggio 1, 2010 at 12:51 am  Comments (7)  

The right “how” for each moment

The most important representer of the Five Major category is probably Nestlè.

Nestlé was founded in 1866 by Henri Nestlé in Switzerland and is today the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company. Sales for 2009 were CHF 108 bn.  It employs around 280 000 people and have factories or operations in almost every country in the world.

The Company’s strategy is guided by several fundamental principles. Nestlé’s existing products grow through innovation and renovation while maintaining a balance in geographic activities and product lines. Long-term potential is never sacrificed for short-term performance. The Company’s priority is to bring the best and most relevant products to people, wherever they are, whatever their needs, throughout their lives.

The first Nestlè steps in Italy dated bacj 1875 when it opens a condensed milk factory, but only in 1913 Henry Nestlè snc was founded. In 1988 it overtakes Buitoni, which already owned Perugina, and italian culinary tradition started to spread all over the world, thanks to this  multinational company. In 1993 it acquired Italgel with its bands like Gelati Motta, Antica Gelateria del Corso, La Valle degli Orti

Culinary products:
Buitoni, Maggi
Confectionery products:
Perugina, Baci, Ore Liete, KitKat, Galak, Smarties, Fruit Joy, Nero Perugina
Motta, Antica Gelateria del Corso, Maxibon, La Cremeria
Products containing milk:
Frùttolo, MIO, LC1 Protection, Sveltesse, Nesquik, Galak
Childhood products:
Nidina, Mio
Clinical nutritional products:
Meritene, Resource, Nova Source
Bevarage prepared products:
Nescafé, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Nesquik, Orzoro
Breakfast muesli:
Fitness, Nesquik, Cheerios, Chocapic
Nestlé Professional:
Products for professional catering companies

Nestlé Italiana is member of Gruppo Nestlé and connected with Sanpellegrino – Nestlé Waters, Nestlé Purina Petcare, Nespresso.

What does it mean?

That we are not dealing with a simple Chocolate producing company, but that we have in front of us one of the major colossus of food industry: NOT JUST CHOCOLATE BUT THE “HOW” FOR EACH MOMENT!

Let’s see how Nestlè is able to satisfy you in every moment of the day.


Nescafé, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Nesquik, Orzoro + Fitness, Nesquik, Cheerios, Chocapic

Nestle’s best known brand is Nescafé – a combination of Nestlé and café. Nescafé, the first commercially successful soluble coffee, was introduced in Switzerland in 1938.

Nesquik powder along with the Nesquik Bunny provides kids and families with a fun way to turn milk into an irresistibly delicious, extra nutritious drink.

Nestlé, as the infant nutrition expert, has developed Nesquik Junior for children from 18 months old. The cocoa powder specially made for toddlers’ specific nutritional needs that turns the milk more nutritious and complete.









 Morning break at 10.30 

Fitness cereal helps women manage their line in a sensible way. Fitness helps women not only take off weight but also keep it off as it is made with delicious whole grain flakes. Research shows that women who eat more wholegrain tend to weigh less and are less likely to gain weight over time. Fitness also contains essential vitamins and minerals.

Or better for children: SNACKS!



Guilia Buttoni’s Pasta was the preferred pasta in town after she opened her little shop in Sansepolcro in 1827. Over 127 years of history make Buitoni one of the few remaining big Italian food brands with a rooted expertise in Italian cuisine.


In 1883 Julius Maggi had a vision: good-tasting, nutritious food accessible to all. The Maggi brand has grown to become one of the Nestlé Group’s most popular brands.




Afternoon break:

A carefully constructed balance of diverse tastes, textures and colours, culminating in an intense chocolate tip: Icecream!


The Stouffer’s brand traces its roots back to 1922, when the Stouffer family opened a small coffee shop in Cleveland serving delicious home-made food. With growing popularity, the family went on to open a chain of restaurants. Today, the Stouffer’s brand is still devoted to bringing families together around a table of delicious food.

The Hot Pockets brand was created in 1983 by brothers David and Paul Merage. Transforming a simple sandwich idea into a revolutionary product, they created Hot Pockets: a unique combination of a crispy-in-the-microwave crust and great tasting filling. Hot Pockets is the No. 1 frozen stuffed sandwich brand in the USA.

This unusual post is obviously not all about chocolate, but it is aimed to show how a small industry can start from a particular business and expand to many others, which are completely different!

The question I want to make you reflecting on is: if the business of Nestlè concerns everything from milk, to pizza, icecream, water, clinical products…how can we consider the quality of its chocolate? Can it be compared with the one of Lindt, or better Biasetto or Estense one?

Just think about it…

Published in: on aprile 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm  Comments (57)  

A short curiosity about an industrial success

I have already mentionen the “Goldbunny” produced by Lindt, but a short story about ist origin is worthwide.

One bright spring morning in March, when the ground was covered in a blanket of crisp white snow, one of the Lindt Master Chocolatiers saw a little bunny in his garden. The Master Chocolatier’s young daughter was thoroughly mesmerized when she saw the little bunny but began to cry as soon as it disappeared in the bushes. Deeply touched by how upset his daughter was, the father suddenly had a great idea: “I should make a bunny like that out of chocolate…” He made the bunny from the finest Lindt milk chocolate and wrapped it in golden foil. Then, as a special mark of recognition, a red ribbon was placed around its neck. And so, the very first Gold Bunny was born into this world.

Decades have passed since that morning, but the Lindt Gold Bunny is still an icon of the season. People all over the world know spring is not far away when the Gold Bunny shows his ears again.

Published in: on aprile 1, 2010 at 9:17 pm  Comments (2)  

Small confectionery shop? No, thanks, I prefer Lindt

As I wrote in the previous post one of the largest chocolate company, and my favourite one of course, is Lindt.

The story begins in 1845: Confectioner, David Sprüngli-Schwarz and his inventive son, Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann, owned a small confectionery shop in Zurich’s Old Town, and then a second and larger confectionery and refreshment room at Zurich’s Paradeplatz.  Today the Group is comprised of manufacturing sites in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and the USA. They started as modest candymakers and they became the company that we know now!

For over 150 years Lindt & Sprüngli has decidedly adhered to the principle of premium quality. The trademark “Lindt” is the guarantee for chocolate manufactured with the greatest care from the highest quality ingredients and famous for its distinct smoothness, characteristic taste and innovative flair. Who does not appreciate it???

Let’s discover the reason:

For over 150 years Lindt & Sprüngli has decidedly adhered to the principle of premium quality. The company works with processes and plants that reflect state-of-the-art technology in the chocolate industry. Rationalization is not the only consideration foremost in technological progress, but rather the guarantee and enhancement of quality. Lindt & Sprüngli does everything in its power to consistently renew the trust of its loyal chocolate lovers. The trademark “LINDT” is the guarantee for chocolate manufactured with the greatest care from the highest quality ingredients and famous for its distinct smoothness, characteristic taste and innovative flair.

Defining Quality
Quality and innovation are LINDT’s number one priorities and the commitment to consumers. LINDT manufactures and sells superior chocolate, confectionery and cocoa products because its corporate philosophy is to:

  • Use only the best ingredients and materials
  • Innovate and enhance recipes
  • Have state-of-the-art manufacturing
  • Employ highly-qualified people

Now go throwgh some worldwide famous Lindt-delights:


Lindt Lindor Truffle Balls are available in many tastes;
you recognise them from the colour of the foil around them:



Red is milk-chocolate

Blue is dark choco outside, milk inside

Black is dark chocolate

Gold is white chocolate…..



Lindt Excellence 70% – 85%-90%Cocoa Extra Fine Dark Chocolate Bar



available also in other flavours:

  • white coconut
  • extra creamy
  • chili
  • intense orange-pear-mint
  • sea salt



Lindt Swiss Tradition Deluxe An extraordinary experience for perfect for gifting , sharing, or to simply enjoy by yourself.



The Lindt Gold Bunny is more loved now than ever before.

The Gold Bunny adored by children and adults in over 60 countries around the world, is not a young bunny, in fact, his successful past spans over 50 years!


These are only the most famous Lindt products: if you are curious to know something more visit the website www.lindt.com or…. go to the supermarket and try!!

Published in: on marzo 29, 2010 at 9:49 pm  Comments (7)  

The Chocolate Industry

Who are the main manufacturers of chocolate in the world?

Candy Industry publishes an annual list of the top 100 global confectionery companies, ranking them by total sales.

The table below is an extract from this list giving the top ten global confectionery companies that manufacture some form of chocolate by total confectionery sales value:


Total Sales
Mars Inc
Cadbury Schweppes PLC
Nestlé SA
Ferrero SpA
Hershey Foods Corp.
Kraft Foods Inc.
Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd.
Lindt & Sprüngli
Barry Callebaut AG
Ezaki Glico Co


Published in: on marzo 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm  Comments (3)  

Innovation in the “How”: Content, Taste, Website

Lindt Excellence Dark with a touch of Sea Salt

One of the hottest trends in candy has been the addition of sea salt. A little savory touch to a sweet. The use of salt in candy is as old as toffee, caramel, & licorice but now it’s popping into chocolates. Lindt just released their newest, an Excellent Dark with a Touch of Sea Salt bar.

The package is quite pretty and elegantly simple. The standard paperboard sleeve with a cool dark blue background for the chocolate square sporting a little sprinkle of salt.

 The chocolate bar has paperboard sleeves which protect the chocolate well, and should make it easy to keep the leftovers. Lindt has designed theirs so that once you open it, there’s no tab to tuck back in, instead it falls apart completely without a little piece of tape or a rubber band.   

The bar is fresh and has a wonderful sheen. 

The package turns out that this simple dark-named bar is only 47%. The ingredients also list butterfat but feel it tends to make dark chocolate a little less potent. Smell aside, the texture is quite nice. Silky smooth until a little pop of salt grains. 

It’s a pretty well balanced bar and a nice example of salt & sugar being used together: an innovation in the way of perceiving chocolate.  It’s not quite as deep and satisfying as the darker offerings from Lindt and of course the fact that they’ve used butterfat means it’s off the list for vegans.

Lindt just relaunched their Excellence Chocolate website with big images, lots of information about the products, including ingredients and nutrition label. And most importantly it’s not done in all flash so no crazy sounds or music & and you can link directly to a product page if you want to.

Published in: on marzo 24, 2010 at 12:13 am  Comments (4)