Italian ’emblem’ Nutella turns 50 with parties

Italian 'emblem' Nutella turns 50 with parties
Ferrero produces around 365,000 tonnes of Nutella every year. Nutella photo: Shutterstock
Italian sweets maker Ferrero on Wednesday unveiled plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nutella - the chocolate hazelnut spread that has conquered palates worldwide and created Italy's biggest fortune.

The first pot of the addictive mix was made in Alba in northwest Italy in April 1964.

"The Nutella story is an emblem for Italian business," Economic Development Minister Federica Guidi said at a news conference in Rome with Ferrero executives.

It began as "a story of poverty", Guidi said.

Company owner Michele Ferrero, the son of a smalltime pastry maker, started from humble beginnings and used hazelnut in the spread to save money on chocolate.

Ferrero now produces around 365,000 tonnes of Nutella every year in 11 factories around the world. The biggest market is Germany, followed by France and Italy.

The anniversary celebrations begin in Alba on Saturday and events are also being planned in 50 countries, including Canada, Germany, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, ending with a concert in New York on Monday.

The 89-year-old Ferrero and his family are estimated by Forbes to hold Italy's biggest fortune at €14.9 billion in 2013.

SEE ALSO: Court jails 'Nutella gang' for 15 years

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