Family-controlled Ferrero is one of world's biggest confectioners with a collection of international brands including Ferrero Rocher specialty chocolates, Nutella spread and Tic Tac mints. But its most important brand is Kinder, which encompasses a large number of different confectionery products, including Kinder Surprise and Kinder Joy toy eggs, Kinder Bueno chocolate bars and a variety of other treats, cakes and chilled desserts. Kinder is one of Italy's most international brands with global sales in excess of €2bn. At home the group markets a substantial range of additional products including beverages, and it also has an extensive presence in Germany, traditionally its second-biggest market, but soon to be overtaken by the US. For years, the group had stood apart from the rest of the global confectionery industry, but it has gradually been drawn into the increasing consolidation within the sector since 2010. In 2013, it was reported that Nestle had made several tentative approaches to acquire Ferrero, all of which were firmly refused by the confectioners' family owners. Instead, the group has begun to slowly but steadily expand its footprint with a few carefully chosen acquisitions of its own, including boxed chocolate specialists Russell Stover and Thorntons and a collection of US sugar candy brands. Its most ambitious deal to-date was the purchase of Nestle USA's confectionery division in 2018 for $2.8bn. That deal makes Ferrero the #3 in US confectionery after Mars and Mondelez. That was followed soon afterwards by a deal for Kelloggs' US cookie business Keebler. The group is owned and led by chairman Giovanni Ferrero, grandson of the company's founders, husband and wife Pietro and Piera Ferrero who opened a small bar and patisserie in Alba in Northern Italy in 1942. Lapo Civiletti was appointed as CEO in 2017. The privately owned business divulges little financial information, but reported revenues for the year ending 2018 of €10.7bn.
Capsule checked 28th September 2018
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Historical profile information for Ferrero
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Jul 2019: Ferrero's shopping spree continued with the acquisition through an affiliated company of Danish company Kelsen, makers of Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk biscuits. The price tag was $300m, or just under twice Kelsen's annual revenues. The business has been part of Campbell Soup Company's international division for several years. Campbell's other subsidiaries outside North America are also up for sale.
Adbrands Daily Update 28th May 2019: The expansion of Italian confectionery group Ferrero continues. The group opened a new doorway with a deal to acquire Spanish ice cream manufacturer ICFC. That company manages a small collection of proprietary brands such as iChoc, Triple and Pico (which are dead ringers for Unilever's Magnum and Cornetto brands), but the bulk of its business comes from private label production for supermarkets. The deal will offer Ferrero a new route to market for Kinder-branded ice cream treats, currently produced in a partnership with Unilever.
Adbrands Social Media 8th Apr 2019: "Cupboard / Bag". We love these deliciously dark spots from Wieden & Kennedy for Trolli sugar candy, which with their stop motion oddity bring back fond memories of 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'. This marks the beginning of a big push from Ferrara Candy, now the main confectionery unit of Italian food giant Ferrero. That company will have quadrupled its US footprint by mid-summer following the acquisitions of Ferrara, Nestle confectionery and most recently Keebler cookies.
Adbrands Daily Update 2nd Apr 2019: In another big push into the US, Ferrero sealed a $1.3bn deal to acquire the Keebler cookies division of Kellogg Company. Brands changing hands include Keebler, Mother's, Famous Amos and Murray's, as well as cookies manufactured for Girl Scouts of the USA. The deal also includes the company's Fruit Twistables fruit snacks, pie crusts, and ice cream cones businesses, as well as several production facilities across the US. Combined sales were around $900m. Kellogg's is holding on to Pringles, Cheez-It and its protein and cereal-based bars.
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Jan 2018: As expected, Ferrero secured the deal to acquire Nestle's US confectionery division, comprising a collection of local brands including Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Raisinets, SweeTarts and Nerds, as well as the license for international brand Nestle Crunch. (The US is the only market in the world where Nestle doesn't own KitKat; the license is held there by Hershey). Price tag was $2.8bn, or a little over three times annual sales. The purchase will catapult Ferrero into third place in US confectionery. The combination of Nestle's brands with Ferrero's existing Kinder and TicTac, and the Ferrara Candy business it acquired last year will give the Italian company around 9% market share, well ahead of Mondelez and Lindt (both around 5%), but still some way behind market leaders Hershey and Mars on 31% and 29% respectively. Separately, Lindt reported global sales of over $4bn for the first time, though declines at recently acquired US chocolate maker Russell Stover were a lag on otherwise strong performance elsewhere.
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