New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Ferrero, the $8- billion Italian confectionery giant, has firmed up plans for a new production facility in Maharashtra with an investment of over $125 million to whip up some of its popular brands that include Rocher and Kinder.
‘The company’s new facility will be located near the existing plant at Baramati, near Pune. Ferrero has already invested over $75 million in India so far,’ said Diljeet Titus, an advisor to the Italian company in India.
‘The new production facility will be established by the end of 2011,’ Titus, also the founder and managing partner of leading corporate law firm Titus and Co, told IANS in an interview.
Apart from Ferrero Rocher, the Italian firm owns several popular chocolate brands like Ferrero Rondnoir, Ferrero Raffaello and Ferrero Giotto. Among them, Rocher, the crispy, yet creamy chocolate with a hazelnut-centre wrapped in a gold foil, is the most popular.
‘The idea is to tickle the palate of Indians with tasty offerings that go beyond the popular Ferrero Rocher. The location of the plant is also suited well to source most of the material locally,’ Titus said.
Ferrero — which has also started targeting children in India with Kinder Surprise, that combines a chocolate egg, a surprise filling and a toy — runs its existing unit through a 100-percent subsidiary, Imsofer Manufacturing, that started production two years ago.
‘In just second year of operation the company’s annual turnover has risen to over $170 million. It is evident there is a huge potential demand in India for hi-end chocolates and confectionery,’ said Titus, also a top officer-bearer with Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
According to him, sending a packaged box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates is also becoming commonplace on festivals and occasions such as Diwali, Eid and Christmas, or even along with a wedding invitation or birthday card.
Globally, the family-owned group is headed by its chief executives Pietro and Giovanni Ferrero and operates through 38 trading companies, 18 factories and around 21,500 employees.
The 60-year-old group’s other popular brands include Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread, TicTac mint pellets, Kinder Bueno wafer chocolate bar and Mon Cheri dark chocolate with liqueur and cherry.
(Gyanendra Kumar Keshri can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com)
— Indo-Asian News Service