Nutella Owner Michele Ferrero Dies Age 89

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Italy’s richest man was a billionaire thanks to Nutella

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Nutella founder Michele Ferrero died Saturday at the age of 89.

Michele Ferrero, the billionaire owner of the company that makes Nutella, died this weekend at the age of 89.

According to The Local, Ferrero was the richest man in Italy, thanks to the chocolate and hazelnut spread that was inspired in part by Ferrero’s pastry maker father, who allegedly added hazelnuts to save money on chocolate. It was Ferrero’s idea to package the spread, name it Nutella, and start selling it in grocery stores. Nutella first went on sale in 1964, and now the company produces 400,000 tons of Nutella each year and reportedly has sales of $9 billion a year.

Ferrero died Saturday at his home in Monaco. Ferrero’s son Giovanni is the current chief executive of the Ferrero group, which also owns Ferrero Rocher, Kinder chocolates, and Tic Tacs. Forbes estimates that the Ferrero family is the richest in Italy, with a fortune of $20.4 billion.