Baci Perugina screen shot

Nestlé is gearing up for a major push into super-premium chocolate, with plans to massively expand its Baci Perugina brand around the globe.

The confectionery giant is investing €60 million (£46.4 million) in the Italian brand over the next three years and setting up a new dedicated business unit to help turn Baci Perugina into a global name on a par with S. Pellegrino.

The global expansion plans for Baci Perugina will include activity in the UK, though Nestlé Italy – which is leading the efforts – said it was too early to say when exactly this would happen. Baci Perugina has limited listings in the UK at present, with a couple of lines in Tesco as well as in some independent retailers; it is also available online, through

The new confectionery international business unit in charge of developing Baci around the world will be led by Valeria Norreri, who previously worked on driving international expansion of S. Pellegrino. As part of the €60 million investment, Nestlé will spend about €15 million to upgrade its factory in San Sisto, including “the introduction of cutting-edge technologies and an advanced organisational model that will allow the factory to respond to the needs of increasingly challenging markets”.

“Baci Perugina has an exceptional legacy of tradition,” said Norreri. “Sales results of several countries confirm that the product has the potential to win in foreign markets. Now we have the opportunity to develop its value in international markets, relying on the Italian talent that combines the quality of know-how with passion and lifestyle.”

Société Générale analyst Warren Ackerman said Nestlé had been trying for some time to build up a strong footprint in super-premium chocolate. “With super-premium brands Lindt and Ferrero powering ahead, Nestlé was somewhat sidelined focusing on its one true global – but mass-market – chocolate brand, Kit Kat. With an acquisition by Nestle of Lindt or Ferrero unlikely, it is left to Nestlé to build its super premium chocolate position organically.”