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|Place of origin||Italy|
|Main ingredients||Milk chocolate, hazelnut, sugar, palm oil, wheat flour|
|76.6 kcal (321 kJ)|
The Ferrero Rocher was introduced in 1982 in Europe. Shortly after release, production was halted due to a problem with label printing. Michele Ferrero, the credited inventor, named the chocolate after a grotto in the Roman Catholic shrine of Lourdes, Rocher de Massabielle. Rocher comes from the French and means rock or boulder.
The chocolate consisted of a whole roasted hazelnut (but since late 2017, only part of a hazelnut had been used) encased in a thin wafer shell filled with hazelnut chocolate and covered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. Its ingredients are milk chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, skim milk powder, butteroil, lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin (artificial flavor), hazelnuts, palm oil, wheat flour, whey (milk), lowfat cocoa powder, sodium bicarbonate (leavening agent), and salt.
The production process is secretive, with no smartphones or notebooks allowed inside, and, as of 2015, few journalists have ever been invited to visit. As of 2015, the production in the Alba factory is 24 million Rochers a day.
The sweet is produced by machinery. The process begins with flat sheets of 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 a 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 chocolate before the chocolate is packaged.
Roughly 3.6 billion Ferrero Rochers are sold each year in over 40 countries.[unreliable source?] These include 28 countries in Europe, 9 countries in the Americas, 9 countries in Asia, 2 countries in the Oceania region, and 2 countries in Africa.[failed verification]
Ferrero Rochers are associated with Christmas and New Year. As of 2015, 61% of Ferrero Rochers were sold during the last three months of the year.
United Kingdom advertisement campaign
In the United Kingdom in the 1990s, an advertisement series was based upon a party in a European ambassador's official residence and it has been repeatedly parodied in popular culture since. There has been discussion about the socio-economic targeting of the advertisement and the extent to which it may or may not be insulting to the more down-market audience to whom it was presented as an aspirational brand by means of an Italian advertisement dubbed in English.
In September 2017, an investigation conducted by NGO Mighty Earth found that a large amount of the cocoa used in chocolate produced by Ferrero Rocher and other major chocolate companies was grown illegally in national parks and other protected areas in Ivory Coast and Ghana. The countries are the world's two largest cocoa producers.
The report documents how in several national parks and other protected areas, 90% or more of the land mass has been converted to cocoa. Less than four percent of Ivory Coast remains densely forested, and the chocolate companies' laissez-faire approach to sourcing has driven extensive deforestation in Ghana as well. In Ivory Coast, deforestation has pushed chimpanzees into just a few small pockets, and reduced the country's elephant population from several hundred thousand to about 200–400.
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