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NUTELLA STORY

Published February 16, 2015 by Tony

THE FERRERO’S BRAND CREATOR IS DIED

Michele Ferrero (1925 – 2015) was one of the most important Italian businessmen, owner of the eponymous Ferrero Group.
Son of peasants, after the second big war, together his wife he opened a pastry shop in Alba (Cuneo). In 1946 Michele was the man behind the company’s development, creating many new products purchased today by millions of consumers around the world, opening factories and representation in Germany and France, and then exporting his articles  overseas, from Australia to Ecuador.
At that time the Italian giants brands were Motta and Alemagna that predicted: “Ferrero goes for broke, it will fail.”
Michele is the inventor of the most famous Ferrero products: Nutella (1964), Mon Cheri (1956), Tic Tac (1969), Ferrero Rocher (1982), up to the Kinder line that now represents about 50% of the Ferrero turnover.
Thanks to the continuous territorial expansion, and production lines, today Ferrero is one of the leading confectionery worldwide, with over 34,000 employees in 53 countries, 20 production facilities, 3 of which are operating in the field of social enterprises in Africa, and Asia and 9 farms.

By Michele Ferrero’s will,  in 1983 was born the Ferrero Foundation, based in Alba, which has the dual objective of taking care of ex-employees Ferrero and to promote cultural and artistic initiatives. Indeed,  in its logo appear the three verbs that characterize his phylosophy : “Work, Create, Donate”.
In 2005 he created the Social Enterprises, already active in India, South Africa and Cameroon, not only based on a purely Conception entrepreneurial, but acting with a “social” spirit, as they are aimed on the one hand to create jobs in disadvantaged areas emerging countries, and to also carry out projects and initiatives to promote children’s education and health in the areas where the establishments are located.

Perhaps the best-known product in most of the world is “Nutella”, trade name of an Italian hazelnut cream made from sugar and vegetable oils to flavor cocoa and hazelnuts. It was created in 1964 by the confectionery Ferrero in Alba, from a previous cream called Giandujot and then Supercrema. The name comes from the noun “nut,”  and the Italian suffix “ella” to get a catchy name.
Today Nutella is probably the most widespread “chocolate spread” in the world, whose main ingredient is the hazelnut, once taken from the local hazelnut plantation where he was born. Mr. Michele, as his collaborators always called him, had the idea of planting trees hazelnuts in the South, so that he could have at disposal fresh hazelnuts at any season. From that visionary project was born  8,000 hectares of crops in Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and Australia, where have been planted 6.6 million of trees. The latest reports claim that sales have been of 350 thousand tons produced each year.

Since the beginning Ferrero adopted reusable glass containers as a form of incentive to buy the product. Once emptied of its contents, the container can be used as a container. The glass jars were soon embellished with multi-color images and a characteristic shape.
During the feast of St. Peter and Paul, Michele had a habit of visiting his Ferrero Foundation in Alba. Here he greeted older workers and talked with other workers, and maybe tasted his products too, keeping the air conditioners to the maximum so that the chocolate did not “suffer” the heat “.
Frequently he went to various
supermarket to buy its products and those of other brands to verify freshness and differences. In each factory Michele asked to put a statue of the Lady of Lourdes, but not to offend Muslims, the designers did not put it in the factory in Manisa, Turkey. Michele Ferrero did not like to waste money, except for his favorite cake that he commissioned for some event to a trusted confectioner, and then carried by a helicopter to Alba.   Dwelling in Monaco where he lived in recent years, next to the villas of his son John and Louise, and the widow of his son Peter (who died in 2011), his last joy was being with his five grandchildren ((Michele, Bernardo, Michael, Marie Elder e John). He wrote for them a affectionate letter, during the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Nutella, celebrated in May 2014.  He ideally passed the baton to the fourth Ferrero family’s generation.

APPLIANCE LIFESPAN

Published March 27, 2013 by Tony

PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE

It is long I had this realization that often I externalized, but now, after reading a few articles, I realize that, alas, it is true and no longer one doubt.
I guess my reflection has also been yours since it concerns the lifespan of all electrical and electronic equipment (and not only) we buy. Whether it’s a simple light bulb, a toaster, a washing machine or a television set, all these appliances no longer have the same duration of the ones that we bought many years ago.
As a boy I remember that rarely we changed a light bulb at home, but without going so far back in time, I can say that after married I have changed the first refrigerator after 22 years, although it was not yet completely irreparable. The same goes for television, washing machine and boiler. Devices which seemed almost “eternal,” and which, even if broke, could be repaired and it was worth it. It’s symptomatic that the figure of the “troubleshooter” has almost been disappeared, especially the “TV repairer” that no longer we find around, except for the authorized repair centers of the various brands.
It’s true that compared to the past the price of some household appliances is lower, as the case of televisions, but today an energy-saving bulb costs much more than an incandescent bulb, and if you’ve noticed, it lasts much, much less. In summary, we save money but buying something that lasts much less, or we pay more – for saving consumption or pollution – but in exchange we have to replace the item more often.
Truly a big deal!

The term that you must remember and that manufacturers take into account,  is “planned obsolescence,” which means that all the devices are “deliberately” built to guarantee a lower duration, through a limited useful life, as if it were a “deadline” beyond which the product must not longer ensure flawless operation or could break down even.
All this to sell more and therefore at the expense of we consumers.
The “built-in planned obsolescence” has been planned to perfection because it must neither be too short – causing the dissatisfaction of customers and damage the image of the company –  and nor too long – to lead to a loss of revenue.
At this we also must add a different policy of spare parts, according to which companies produce only a few replaceable parts, while some repair parts are too expensive or hard to find, with the aim of forcing the customer to replace the device. For example, consider the batteries which often (deliberately?) cannot be replaced because built-in and, when not more rechargeable, force us to throw the unit, as happened with the iPod (lasting not more than two years!), with MacBook Pro, or with some digital cameras.

All what I am saying has been confirmed in Germany by a study commissioned by the Parliamentary Group of German Greens. According to Stefan Schridde and Christian Kreis, authors of the study, it is extremely difficult to demonstrate this “intentionality” of the producers, of course. Producers which defend themselves saying that the “planned obsolescence” would be counterproductive because customers would consider the brand unreliable and turn to others. This could be true only if they were few companies to implement such a “planned feature”….. Isn’t it?
Also, it is a fact that until the 70’s, one appliance’s life expectancy was 20-30 years, while today it is more than 10 times lower.

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ORSERO FAMILY

Published May 6, 2012 by Tony

MADE IN ITALY

F.lli Orsero

This mark is surely unknown overseas for now, but being an Italian company can only please us if it will become a big commercial reality worldwide. I refer to the Italian “GF Group” which will distribute its products under the trademark “F.lli Orsero“.
This is a credit to an Italian company that for more than thirty years has worked in the shadow of two great foreign giants, “Del Monte” and “Chiquita“.
It all started last year when the “Del Monte Corporation” broke the contract that, since 1976, bound them to the GF-Group for the exclusive distribution in Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and Mediterranean area, of their foodstuffs, and fruits in particular. Areas where the “Jordanian-Palestinian giant” not acted in a direct manner, relying on the export and distribution to the Italian GF-group, before opening their own offices in these areas, by new business strategies in Europe, and splitting the contract. As the
CEO of GF-Group, Raffaella Orsero says: “Our group has grown together with them and the  contract termination gave us the opportunity to make this decision, the time was ripe for it, launching our brand. Our goal now is to control 20% of the market in southern Europe, driving down “Del Monte” from 25 to 10% and gnawing something to “Chiquita” (over 3 billion U.S. dollars), leader with 35% “.
Their new logo brand represents a van, the old one used by their grandfather, founder of the family company, that transported fruits around the Ligurian Riviera (Liguria). Company which then grew with 3500 employees, a turnover of 964 million and with 200 products distributed. The GFgroup has also invested to grow and when Del Monte was in trouble, it purchased two pineapple and banana plantations in Costa Rica, and has also invested in refrigerated ships, which in a few days export fruit on Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Greek markets. They can also boast strong relationships with major retail chains with which also the Chiquita products are distributed. Both sides have come to the counter-attack with Del Monte that sued them and Chiquita which paved Italy with its new ads, signed by the Italian graph Armando Testa.
Over the last ten years the sale of bananas and pineapples has tripled, with bananas being the second most consumed fruit in the world, producing over 97 million tons (from India, Philippines and China). The turnover of imports in Europe is estimated at nearly 3.4 billion and the widespread presence of GF-Group is ready to flood the market with 19 million boxes of fruit. The Orsero family has clear ideas: “Our products are “ high end ” quality but less expensive than Chiquita”. In Italy, the Orsero’s business philosophy is to always brings on the tables only the freshest products because the  fruits “seasonality” is an important factor, as well as the “made in Italy”.  It is unthinkable, for example, to have homegrown apples on the table during summer, produced many months before in Italy, while in Chile, just on summertime, apples are fresh.
Anyway, the “Bananas war” has begun.