The chocolate industry has seen a recent slowdown in sales, and large consolidations loom in the future. In an effort to not only stay relevant, but also stay innovative, Ferrero International SA has halved the amount of time it takes to launch new products, purchased a U.K. based chocolate company and recruited managers from around the world.
This has all been done in the last 18 months, recently after the late founder, Michele Ferrero, passed away and his son, Giovanni Ferrero took over the company in 2011. In the Wall Street Journal article about the change, Giovanni is quoted saying, “Tradition is like a bow. The more we stretch the bowstring, the farther we can throw the arrows of modernity and innovation.”
There have been many challenges faced by the company, including concern about momentum of the company in relation the family difficulties. However, after every difficulty, such as the death of co-CEO and brother to G. Ferrero in 2011, the company has continued to move forward and show positive signs of growth. For example, at the end of the 2015 fiscal year, the company showed a 13% growth in sales, according the Wall Street Journal.
The company has seen continued success due to their obvious efforts in expanding their business and their markets world wide, and one of the reasons for this is their business structure and their push to bring in informed managers with international insights. They have also begun to strike deals with local middlemen and retailers. Recently, they have set sights on the chocolate candy market in the US, where they currently only control 2.3%.