Ferrero SpA , more commonly known as Ferrero Group, is an Italian manufacturer of branded chocolate and confectionery products, and the second biggest chocolate producer and confectionery company in the world. It was founded in 1946 in Alba, Piedmont, Italy, by Pietro Ferrero, a confectioner and small-time pastry maker who laid the groundwork for Nutella and famously added hazelnut to save money on chocolate. The company saw a period of tremendous growth and success under Pietro's son Michele Ferrero, who in turn handed over the daily operations to his sons, Pietro Jr. and Giovanni Ferrero ., Pietro Jr., who oversaw global business, died on April 18, 2011, in a cycling accident in South Africa at the age of 47., The Ferrero Group worldwide – now headed by CEO Giovanni Ferrero – includes 38 trading companies, 18 factories, and approximately 40,000 employees, and produces around 365,000 tonnes of Nutella each year. Ferrero International SA's headquarters is in Luxembourg. Ferrero SpA is a private company owned by the Ferrero family and has been described as "one of the world's most secretive firms". Reputation Institute's 2009 survey ranks Ferrero as the most reputable company in the world. The company's financial results for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2016, showed consolidated sales growth of 8.2% from the previous fiscal year.