It’s 1946, WW2 is over but lots of commodities are still in short supply. Cocoa being one of them. A pastry maker in northern Italy finds a way of extending the available cocoa by adding hazelnuts. Piedmont has an abundance of hazelnuts.
Hazelnut pastes have been common in that part of the world for centuries but this cocoa and hazelnut blend went on to become Nutella.
Pietro and Piera Rocher transformed their pastry shop into a factory and the Rocher brand was born and went on to become one of the world’s greatest brands.
Here is a business that doesn’t follow; it creates market categories; it puts premium products into niche markets and currently turns over 8.1 billion Euros.
Ferrero products are unique. Kinder, Nutella, Tic Tac and more. They are all very difficult to copy, are produced using machinery developed by their own engineering division, using their own technologies and research and development.
There are no media visits to their premises and the word is that they’ve never issued a press release. Packaging can be a little bling but it’s all part of their brand presentation. Retailers have difficulty own labelling it as there’s no one to source from. Big competitors can’t source the manufacturing kit and given the production complexity the cost of parity is very high. Recipes are all Ferrero’s secret. Plus the big boys aren’t good in niche markets.
What a strategy! It keeps 25000 people gainfully employed in one of the most successful companies around.
In a world where everyone knows everything about almost everyone, Ferrero have got to their position by relentless innovation and keeping a few, very important, secrets.