Compared to $1.5million a box for Le Chocolate Box, Ferrero Rocher isn't the most expensive chocolate.
Forbes estimated that Ferrero Rocher as the company earns 10% from each chocolate sold meaning 90% of the price you paid was used to make a Ferrero Rocher.
So, why is Ferrero Rocher costly and expensive? The cost to make an expensive Ferrero Rocher is divided into purchasing ingredients, hiring staff to manufacture the chocolate giving a "golden experience", testers to ensure high quality in taste and spot defects, and finally, marketing and distribution costs which are typically around 11% based on other chocolate.
Hazelnuts cascade onto Ferrero Rocher pralines in Alba, Italy. Photograph by Noah Kirsch and Courtesy of Ferrero.
Ferrero Rocher chocolates are considered costly for several reasons:
High-Quality Ingredients: Ferrero Rocher uses premium ingredients, including hazelnuts, chocolate, and a delicate wafer, sourced from select regions. These high-quality components contribute to the overall cost.
Complex and Secret Production Process: The production of Ferrero Rocher chocolates involves multiple intricate steps, including the creation of the signature hazelnut filling, the delicate layering process, and the gold foil wrapping. This labor-intensive and precise manufacturing adds to production costs.
Unique Packaging: Ferrero Rocher is known for its elegant gold packaging, which adds to its luxurious appeal. The packaging is not only visually appealing but also functional, as it helps maintain the chocolates' freshness and shape.
Brand Image: Ferrero Rocher has built a reputation for being a premium chocolate brand associated with sophistication and gifting. This brand image allows them to command higher prices in the market.
Marketing and Advertising: Ferrero invests significantly in marketing and advertising campaigns to maintain its premium brand positioning. These expenses are reflected in the product's pricing.
Global Production: Ferrero Rocher is produced in multiple countries and exported worldwide, which may involve transportation and import/export costs, contributing to the overall price.
Ingredients to Make Ferrero Rocher
Ferrero, who makes Nutella and Rocher, used around 25% of the hazelnut's global supply.
While ingredients to make a Ferrero Rocher are commonly found, Ferrero had to source more sustainable options, especially for hazelnuts to maintain its cost. Each jar of Nutella contains about 50 hazelnuts while each Ferrero Roche used 1 hazelnut.
In a Ferrero Roche, the hazelnut is roasted and encased in a thin wafer shell filled with hazelnut chocolate and covered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts.
The other ingredients are milk chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, skim milk powder, butter oil, lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin (artificial flavor), hazelnuts, palm oil, wheat flour, whey (milk), low-fat cocoa powder, sodium bicarbonate (leavening agent), and salt.
Making of Ferrero Rocher Being A Secret
Introduced in 1982 after 5 years of development, Ferrero Rocher was marketed as “the golden experience” of premium chocolate confectionery. Ferrero Rocher has one of the most secretive production processes, almost comparable to NASA and Coca Cola.
No smartphones or notebooks allowed inside the production facilities.
In 2011, the chocolate maker allowed journalists to tour its plant in Alba, Italy, for the first time in the company's 65-year history.
In 2018, the chairman did his first-ever interview with an American media outlet.
Washington Post's Sarah Kaplan reported that the Ferrero Group previously banned tours of its factories for fear of "industrial espionage," as the designs of its equipment and Nutella recipe are closely guarded secrets.
The sweet is produced by machinery.
- The process begins with flat sheets of the wafer with hemispheres moving down an assembly line.
- The hemispheres of the wafers are then filled with a chocolate hazelnut cream and part of a hazelnut.
- Next, two of these wafer sheets, one with hazelnut and one with hazelnut chocolate cream, are clamped together.
- The excess wafer is cut away producing wafer balls.
- These balls are then coated with a layer of chocolate, a layer of chopped hazelnuts, and a final layer of milk chocolate before the chocolate ball is wrapped in its prominent gold foil.
According to The Guardian, one anonymous executive compared the company's security measures to those of NASA. In fact, DailyMail reported that the founder wrote its famous recipe into Arabic and locked it in a vault in Cairo.
Rigorious Testing Process
Another cost is the amount of testing or quality check performed.
Ferrero Rocher hired senior testers to ensure the taste and quality of each Ferrero Rocher. Senior taster Stefania Agnelli explained that to be selected they must correctly identify the flavors of sweet, bitter, salty, and umami.
Testers are also tasked to find the smallest cracks in the wafers.
'We are manic about the quality,' one of the executives insists. 'It has to be perfect'.
Dozens of professional 'tasters' all over the world have what sounds like a dream job.
Richest Man In Italy
On the other hand, Guardian reported that Ferrero UK only paid £110,000 of tax, due to a £334m “cost of sales” charge to Ferrero’s holding company in low-tax Luxembourg.
Robert Leach, a tax accountant, said “Basically, this is chocolate and hazelnut wrapped in some fancy packaging – it should not cost much to make. So I would ask the company, what is costing £334m? I would ask Giovanni Ferrero, ‘Why are you still selling chocolate in the UK, when you don’t make a profit?’”
Ferrero Rocher Fine Hazelnut Chocolates, 48 Count Chocolate Gift Box, 21.2 Oz
As someone who bought many boxes of Ferrero Rocher as gifts, everyone loves receiving the gift box showing the golden wrapped chocolate. Almost every year near festive giving seasons like Valentine's Day or Christmas, hazelnut chocolates will be promoted heavily.
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