Richest candyman Michele Ferrero dies as company rises in China and Russia

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Inventor of Nutella, Tic-Tac and Ferrero Rocher dies as company makes gains in emerging markets
Inventor of Nutella, Tic-Tac and Ferrero Rocher dies as company makes gains in emerging markets

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The world’s richest confectioner Michele Ferrero, owner of the Ferrero Group, has died aged 89 as his company gains traction in emerging markets.

The inventor of Nutella, Tic-Tac, Ferrero Rocher and Kinder passed away on February 14 in Monaco.

Ferrero was the second generation owner of the Ferrero Group and was the world 22nd​ richest man and Italy richest with a net wealth of $26.9bn, according to Forbes.

He was the richest person in the food and drinks industry ahead of AB Inbev controlling owner Jorge Paulo Lenmann.

The Ferrero Group was formed in 1946 in Alba, Italy and Michele Ferrero assumed control in 1949.

His son Giovanni Ferrero, CEO of the Group, will continue to lead the firm. Giovanni Ferrero became joint-CEO of the company in 1997 and assumed full control after his brother Pietro died in a cycling incident in 2011.

Michele Ferrero’s death comes after Tootsie Roll Industries’ long-standing CEO and chairman of its Board of Directors Melvin J.Gordon died aged 95 last month.

Ferrero grows in emerging markets

ferrero group sales euomonitor
Source: Euromonitor International

Ferrero group is the fourth largest confectionery company with a 5% global market share, behind Mondelez, Mars and Nestlé, according to Euromonitor International.

The company has doubled chocolate sales in Russia and China in the past five years to over $600m.

Jack Skelly, food analyst at Euromonitor, said: "Although growth in China and Russia has dwarfed developed markets in percentage terms, Ferrero has still achieved value gains of US$550 million in traditional markets, such as France, Italy and the US. Ferrero has also committed to improving its presence within other lucrative countries, such as the UK, where it is launching its Kinder range in share bag format. Ferrero should consider tinkering with its formula to push the Ferrero Rocher brand in retailing and reinforce the brand’s premium image."

Related topics Manufacturers Chocolate Ferrero

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