Forbes recently updated their list of the world’s richest people because, yeah, it’s Forbes and I guess that’s what they do. The list contains the usual gang: tech giants like Mark Zuckerberg, media moguls like Oprah Winfrey, presidential candidates like Donald Trump.
But for food lovers, the path to riches for one of the highest ranking names on the list may surprise you: Her fortune was made off Nutella – the beloved Italian chocolate hazelnut spread.
Turns out the richest person in Italy, the fourth richest woman in the world, the fifth richest person in Europe and the 30th wealthiest person on the planet overall is none other than Maria Franca Fissolo – the widow of Michele Ferrero, the original heir to the Ferrero chocolate empire, makers of Nutella. Forbes says chocolate products have helped her wealth balloon up to $22.1 billion dollars.
Ferrero passed away in February of last year, making this the first full year that his wife has been on the list – so perhaps congratulations are in order to the 98-year-old Fissolo for not hopping in her Lamborghini, driving to Monte Carlo and gambling the entire family’s fortune away at the roulette wheels. Still, it would be a hard fortune to squander. The company still sells nearly $2.5 billion worth of Nutella every year.
Still, if you’re ever feeling guilty about your Nutella purchase, just remember that you are helping out a little 98-year-old lady. Not that she really needs it.