Paul Chibe, CEO of Ferrero’s North America branch, told this site the Nutella chocolate spread was developed to capitalize on Europe's bread culture, and now a similar trend is emerging in the US.
The café, located on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, has hired several chefs, including a fifth-generation baker, to make breads and pastries in-house, he said.
In addition to baked goods and Nutella-inspired sweets, the Café's menu offers a family-style fondue and customized beverages.
“We’re comparable to any cafés in Chicago in terms of pricing, but we’re valued more for our location [on Michigan Avenue],” Chibe said.
Within two blocks of the Nutella Café is a Fannie May retailer, a Chicago-based premium chocolate brand that the Ferrero Group recently acquired.
The company has previously stated that Fannie May will continue to operate as a “standalone” entity under the Ferrero Group.
Growing food service business
Chibe said Ferrero’s food service agenda might be new in the US, but the company has been building that part of the business for years.
“2015 was the first year that [Americans] spent as much money on food and alcohol when dining out as they did eating at home. I believe that trend is not going to change,” he said. “For companies like Ferrero, their food service units are going to be more and more important.”
Chibe said the Nutella Café could be an opportunity for other locations in the future, “but we have to see how this one goes.”