Michele Ferrero, the innovative confectioner and Catholic, has died at the age 89.
The Italian entrepreneur and billionaire’s company, Fererro, produces Nutella chocolate spread, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Kinder eggs and Tic Tacs.
Mr Ferrero, who died at his home in Monaco on Saturday after months of illness, was a devout Catholic and, according to The Times, named Ferrero Rocher after the sacred grotto, the Roc de Massabielle, in Lourdes. He is said to have made an annual pilgrimage to Lourdes.
The Times also reports that each of Ferrero’s 14 production facilities around the world, including in Turkey and China, feature a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Mr Ferrero created Nutella in the early 60s after adapting his father’s chocolate spread recipe by adding hazelnut.
He was reportedly Italy’s richest man. The Ferrero company has annual sales of more than €8 billion (£5.9 billion).
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