Italy’s Ferrero, best known for its Nutella hazelnut spread, Ferrero Rocher pralines and Tic Tac mints, aims to become a leading foreign confectionery player in the United States market following its acquisition of Illinois-based Ferrara Candy. The family-owned group based in Alba, Piedmont, which is also the world’s third-largest chocolate maker, bought the third-largest US non-chocolate confectionery group in October 2017 for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition of Ferrara Candy, a leader in popular candies such as Trolli, Brach’s and Lemonhead, brought Ferrero four manufacturing plants in Illinois and Mexico, two distribution centers in Illinois and Texas, and an R&D center also in Illinois. The deal highlights a consolidation trend in the confectionery industry.
A global player
Ferrara Candy was founded in 1908 by an Italian baker, Salvatore Ferrara, who opened a pastry shop in Chicago’s Little Italy. The group became a global player following the merger with Farley and Sathers. In May, Ferrero bought another Chicago-based confectioner, Fannie May, for 115 million dollars. The company also opened its first Nutella Café in Chicago in early 2017. The recent deals are part of a new acquisitive strategy at the 10 billion-euro group led by executive chairman Giovanni Ferrero. The US, which Ferrero entered in 1969 with the launch of Tic Tac, is set to become an even more important market for the Italian companies following the two recent acquisitions. Just think of the acquisition of Nestlè’s US confectionery business for $2.8 billion last January, by which Ferrero became the third largest confectionery company in the US market. With this acquisition, we are continuing to increase our overall footprint and product offering in the important US market, establishing a presence in new confectionery categories with attractive growth prospects Giovanni Ferrero said.