“We face a real challenge in Turin Gianduiotto War. In Game there is the future of chocolate and the idea of Made in Italy.” Said the Maître Chocolatier and President of the Gianduiotto Committee Guido Castagna, who has been defending this Piedmontese specialty and bringing it to the world with his “Giuinott” (young man) for years, comments on the international dispute between Piedmont and the multinational Lindt. Reading the statements from all parties, it appears that Lindt is defending mass market chocolate and waging war on excellent Piedmontese chocolate. But What happens between Turin and Switzerland? And how does Italy react?
On March 17, 2022, the “Gianduiotto Turin Committee”an initiative promoted by local Italian companies, received approval from Piedmont regionsubmitted the protocol to the Ministry of Agriculture for specification Gianduiotto di Torino PGI After months of guilty silence on the part of the ministry, which did not respond, a controversy arose because the Swiss multinational Lindt with a turnover of 5 billion, was against it because the Swiss company acquired the Turin brand in 1997 Caffarilone of the first producers of the famous Turin chocolate since 1865. The Swiss multinational, after the controversies in 2021 due to layoffs and relocation of Caffaril production to Varese, although always informed by the committee, is only now intervening and demanding the introduction of milk in Powder form (10%) e.g is the only Piedmontese production (Lindt’s Caffaril now also produces in Varese in Lombardy). The basis of this assessment is the legitimate desire to rationalize production, personnel and raw material costs: Gianduiotti’s Piedmontese hazelnut is now an expensive product that is controversial all over the world.
A comparison between David and Goliath about the product and the defense of the territory. However, it is not just about questions of the fine palate, but also about history, family and the future. Recent history clearly shows that the defense of product quality promotes Made in Italy and the entire production chain. An example is methe success of Modica chocolate (Sicily), carried out by Nino Scivoletto, director of Modica PGI Chocolate Protection Consortium: Within 5 years, while maintaining quality excellence, production increased from 350,000 to 5 million bars, with an increase in the number of employees from 300 to over 3,000.
To understand the significance of Turin and the Gianduiotto, and therefore the ongoing war, it is useful to take a step back. Chocolate arrives in Italy precisely via the Savoy capital in 1560, when Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy offered the city a cup of hot chocolate on the occasion of the transfer of the ducal capital from Chambéry to Turin. From that moment on, chocolate became an artisanal delicacy throughout Italy and master chocolatiers emerged, skilled artisans who creatively developed new recipes and forms to spread the art of chocolate throughout the territory.
He was born in Turin in the 18th century the Bicerin, a drink that is still in demand today, consisting of cocoa, coffee and milk cream. This began a general appreciation for chocolate and paved the way for new experiments. Through the combination of tradition and innovation, the invention of chocolate in Turin marked a turning point in the history of chocolate: the simple solidification of chocolate created one of the symbols of Italian tradition. In 1865, Gianduiotto, the symbolic chocolate of Turin, was born. The magic ingredient was the Langhe hazelnut, a specialty of Piedmont, making the original Gianduiotto recipe exclusive to the Piedmontese city. This chocolate became an icon because it combined craftsmanship with local excellence and underlined Turin’s position as the beating heart of the Italian chocolate tradition.
Thanks to a proverbial Turin reserve, This whole story does not correspond to a strong brand, and the gianduiotto has become a delicacy with a somewhat old, worn and undervalued image. For this reason, local companies came up with the idea of relaunching the product and proposing a comprehensive IGP protocol that brings together 200 years of different products, recipes and techniques based on just three common ingredients: hazelnut, cocoa and sugar.
Guido Castagna, President of the Gianduiotto Committee, when asked by us whether the IGP protocol would lead to an increase in prices and whether it was therefore an elitist operation, replied: “There is clearly a desire and an urgency in the world “To rethink nutrition.” controlled content and calories. More and more authentic and healthy food, made from quality products. Less but better is the key to the future of food and Made in Italy. It is my personal idea and approach, but Gianduiotto is not a primary product like fresh milk. I shouldn’t binge on chocolate, but I should think of it as a blessing for the soul, an accessible luxury. Isn’t it better to eat 10 high-quality gianduiotti for 5 euros than 20 mediocre ones?”
The committee has received the support of the local authorities and the ministry is also expected to give its approval shortly, which will be followed by the process in Europe. Castagna says he is optimistic, also because he explains: “The Protocol benefits all the entrepreneurial realities of Turin and Piedmont in general. It is intended to be a strong lever for territorial marketing: anyone who respects the rules can boast of this designation, which is not a brand aimed at defending a specific company or group of companies, but about a recipe that unites us all to reward the quality of the product and our territory. Anyone who does not adhere to the guidelines can still use the name Gianduiotto, because it is an old word that cannot be patented or turned into a trademark. There will simply be first choice Gianduiotti, excellent quality and mass produced products. Paradoxically, this specification will provide a framework that will make it easier to rethink, study and market the product, always with full respect for history and the consumer.” Lindt, on the other hand, relented after media coverage available for comparison, initially through lawyers. The international chocolate war is certainly still open and long.