France is not only the world’s biggest gobbler of Ferrero Nutella but every year the factory in Villers-Écalles, Normandy, makes 100,000 tons—25% of the world’s production—of the chocolate-hazelnut spread.
Yesterday Ferrero, headed by the 37th richest man on the planet, Giovanni Ferrero (worth €26.4 billion and whose mother is a Monaco resident), announced plans to invest €42 million in Normandy—€10 million for the modernization of the Villers-Ecalles plant, €2 million for the renovation of the head office in Mont-Saint-Aignan and an additional €30 million investment in a new logistics center.
According to a statement released by the company, the Italian manufacturer of chocolate and confectionery products “has chosen to set up its new warehouse in Criquebeuf-sur-Seine” with work to begin “next November and be completed at the end of 2021.”
“With this new logistics center of nearly 36,000 m2 and its storage capacity of 45,000 pallets, Ferrero in France will be able to consolidate its distribution activities, currently between Normandy and Aube, on a single, more modern central site;” the company said.
Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Franck Riester stated: “Ferrero confirms that our territories are at the heart of the strategicd attractiveness, foreign companies are creating jobs everywhere, today in Criquebeuf.”
"The efforts undertaken to intensify the Franco-Italian bilateral relationship, under the leadership of the President of the Republic, are paying off: more than ever we need to strengthen the European economic fabric,” he added.
“These investments show how much Ferrero is committed to participating in the economic dynamism of Normandy and more generally the French,” said Ferrero France CEO, Jean-Baptiste Santoul. “Our anchor does not stop at our own presence on the territory, since we work with 70% of French suppliers, 25% of Normandy.”
On a typical day 600,000 jars of Nutella are produced a day at the Villers-Écalles plant but in February 2020, production was temporarily halted for a week “as a precaution” after an unspecified quality issue was discovered. Then, on May 28, 160 of the factory’s 350 employees took part in a strike demanding a 4.5% salary increase, a one-time €900 bonus and better working conditions. The strike lasted one week and the details of the outcome remain unclear.
Forbes reports that in 2017 Ferrero sold $12.5 billion worth of sweets, and its namesake owners are worth an estimated $31 billion altogether. generations. In January 2018, Giovanni signed a deal with Nestle to acquire the company's entire U.S. confections business for $2.8 billion.