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Michele Ferrero, Creator of Nutella Gone

from The New York Times

Michele Ferrero, Tycoon Who Gave the World Nutella, Dies at 89


Michele Ferrero, widely regarded as the richest man in Italy and — a distinction more notable to lovers of sweets everywhere — the creator of Nutella, died on Saturday at his home in Monte Carlo. He was 89.

Mr. Ferrero presided over a vast international confectionary empire; he was sometimes referred to as a real-life Willy Wonka. He ranked 22nd on the most recent Forbes list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $26.5 billion. The magazine stated the source of his wealth simply: “chocolates.”

Actually, it was more than chocolates; Ferrero products include fruity and minty Tic Tacs, as well as Ferrero-Rocher candies and Kinder snacks. The company, which Mr. Ferrero’s father, Pietro, started in a Piedmont pastry shop in the 1940s, grew under the younger Mr. Ferrero’s leadership into a worldwide powerhouse, rivaling Mars, Nestlé and Hershey. Its sales in 2014 totaled about $10 billion.

It was Nutella, a thick spread of chocolate and hazelnut, that truly captivated the world’s taste buds.

“World’s flags should be at half-mast: Nutella owner has died,” read one of the many posts on Twitter after Mr. Ferrero’s death — which poetically enough came on Valentine’s Day — was reported.

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Posted on February 15, 2015 by Editor

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