Hazelnuts are the delicious fruit of the hazel tree (Corylus avellana) whose origins can be traced back to Asia. It was then grown in the Mediterranean where it found the conditions it needed to flourish. It is now, in fact, a Mediterranean country, Turkey, that is the world's leading hazelnut producer, followed by Italy and a number of other regions including Georgia, Azerbaijan, Oregon, Spain and Chile.
Hazelnuts are shelled after harvest and toasted to give them their characteristic flavour and aroma. They are then either eaten whole, chopped or made into hazelnut paste.
Kinder selection and quality control
We only take delivery of whole, skinned and un-toasted hazelnuts at our plants. The care we take in choosing and monitoring our hazelnuts, from tree to harvest and from transport to toasting, is a clear indication of what we mean by quality.
Just to give you an idea of how treasured this ingredient is to us, we would like to point out some of the initiatives we continue to support in this field: we plant and harvest hazelnuts in many different countries where we promote agronomy studies into improving quality. Furthermore, people who buy hazelnuts in Turkey regularly ask for "Ferrero Quality". It is a testament to Ferrero's commitment to quality that its high standard have become the benchmark by which all hazelnuts are measured in the "hazelnut country".
Although Turkey is our main hazelnut supplier, we also buy from all the other places that produce them, such as Italy, France, Oregon, Chile and Georgia. This is done because the harvest only comes once a year and this happens at different times in different areas. This is the way that we can guarantee the use of fresh hazelnuts, and therefore perfect toasting, all year round.
The way we work in Turkey is very indicative of our general aims and goals. First of all, our technicians select the production areas and the best harvest. At this point, all our efforts are focused on maintaining product freshness as the delicate phases of packaging and transport are carried out and constantly monitored. Temperature and humidity are the most important factors in keeping the nuts fresh and so are subject to constant checks.
The hazelnuts that we use in our products undergo strict quality controls at the entrance to our factories. Ferrero buys hazelnuts only in "monocaliber" batches, which means: the producers are committed to divide their hazelnut production according to fruit size. This is necessary to reach the best toasting features, because it allows us to regulate the temperature and timing of the process on the basis of hazelnuts' size.
In our plants they are toasted using special technology which allows their true taste and aroma potential to be reached and kept. It is only at this point that they are transformed into the chopped hazelnuts that we know and love in Kinder Maxi King and the hazelnut paste we so enjoy in Kinder Happy Hippo, Kinder Mini Eggs and Kinder Bueno.
Moreover, for the production of paste and chopped hazelnuts Ferrero uses hazelnuts of the same size as the ones used whole. These are used in Ferrero Rocher and Duplo.
In its relationship with its suppliers, Ferrero is careful in respecting and making them respect working conditions compliant with the current regulations and local laws, as well as the applicable International Conventions.
Did you know?
The hazelnut tree has always been considered by the rural culture as a magic tree: it was thought, in fact, that the bush was the home of the fairies, while an abundant harvest was seen as a sign of fertility for the family. Also its use in medicine has always been widespread, so that the symbol of the God Asclepius, as well as of today's pharmacists, is a hazel branch with two twisted snakes.