The richest person of Italy, a success that has endured for three generations, a brand known all over the world. Who has never tasted, at least once in their life, their spread cream with cocoa and hazelnuts? Yeah, I’m talking about Ferrero company and its managing director, Giovanni Ferrero! In this article, I’m going to tell you some curiosities about him, his family and his company!
History of the Ferrero Family
Do you want to know more about the richest family of Italy? Here are some interesting curiosities concerning one of the best known Italian brands in the world!
Michele Ferrero: Ferrero’s dad
Giovanni Ferrero is today the richest man of Italy and the managing director of the company named after him. But Michele Ferrero, Giovanni’s father, was the one who brought the company to success, who starting from the small family sweets lab was able to exprand more and more, up to crossing national borders.
“La Valeria”, as Michele called her, was the “typical consumer”, who he always thought of every time he had to create a new product. Why? Because “La Valeria” was the mother, the aunt, the wife, who went shopping at the supermarket and therefore the person who had to be conquered with the products and their packages so that she could buy them for the whole family.
“La Nutella” hasn’t always been like that
Everyone knows “La Nutella” and ate her at least once in their life. But do you know that she hasn’t always been the way we know her today?
She was born between the two World Wars, a little bit complicated period, in which the cocoa was very difficult to find. However Pietro, Michele’s father, had the ingenious idea of making a sweet pastry with a cocoa flavour (which was therefore needed in a smaller quantity), but also with sugar and hazelnuts.
Originally, it had the shape of a loaf, was “harder” and could be cut into slices to spread on bread. It was called first Giandujot, then SuperCrema, and finally (in the Sixties) Nutella, with the characteristic small jar that we all know today.
Ah, there is a World Nutella Day as well: it’s on February 5th!
Pocket Coffee: between Arabic and truck drivers
The Pocket Coffee is a chocolate that has coffee inside…liquid, real!
It was thought up by Michele Ferrero for truck drivers, because in the Sixities there were still no bars in the Italian rest stops. Consequently, his goal was to help the truckers face their work day with the right energy: for this he combined “the energy of chocolate and the charge of coffee”, just as the product slogan says.
It was Michele himself who had found a procedure that would allow a liquid (coffee or liqueur) to be kept inside the chocolate without it assoribing it.
It was not easy and he was proud of his idea, but he feared that, if he had patented the procedure in Europe, some unfair employee might have passed the formulation on to the competition.
So what to do? They realized that Italy had a special trade agreement with Egypt, so the recipe was translated…into Arabic!
The authorship of Tic Tacs
For who don’t know yet, Tic Tacs were born in the Ferrero world, too! More precisely, they were born in the late Sixties. Originally, they were called “refreshing mint”, but then the consumers, playing with the open and close case, they came to the onomatopoeic name Tic (for the opening) and Tac (for the closure).
So the company decided to change the name of the product…and it was a huge international success!
Not surprisingly, they often appear in foreign movies and tv series.
A love story at the company
Michele Ferrero and his wife Maria Franca met and fell in love at the company, where she had previously been hired as an interpreter.
Easter all year round
In Italy, on Easter, children get large chocolate eggs containing a surprise, usually a toy.
This is a big happy event for children, therefore Michele wanted to give them the opportunity to experience the same joy all year round, even if in a reduced shape. This is how the little chocholate eggs were born, the Kinder Eggs! And yes, they also have a surprise inside!
Summer, especially the Italian one, is not a good friend of chocolate. Therefore, in the summer, Ferrero always withdraws its main products from the market, above all the chocolates, because otherwise their quality could be compromised in some way.
This shows how much they care about the costumer and how they want to offer the costumer only the best.
Kinder: the chocolate for kids
The Kinder chocolate was born from Michele’s idea, who he had always wanted to make a chocolate just for kids. This is how Kinder Chocolate bars were born, which have the ideal size for a child’s hand and the right amount for a small portion of chocolate.
A luxury at the price of a chocolate
The Ferrero Rocher was born exactly for this: that is, Michele Ferrero wanted to offer a real pastry, a small luxury, but at the price of an “ordinary” chocolate, so he took the chocolate and he covered it with a golden paper, which makes everything immediately more “precious” and elegant. Don’t you think?
If you are a fan of great Italian families, I suggest you also watch the video dedicated to the Italian Royal Family: the Savoy!
And don’t forget to read our book Italiano Colloquiale: Parole ed Espressioni per Tutti i Giorni!