Nestlé is putting a renewed focus on the Italian brand Baci Perugina, saying it plans to significantly invest in the brand to further strengthen this iconic Italian chocolate on the world stage.

And, Nestlé USA is bringing Nestlé Damak — a treasured Turkish premium chocolate brand with more than 80 years of rich, delicious pistachio chocolate history — to the U.S. market.

Making Baci Perugina a global brand

Nestlé says it plans to invest more than €60 million into Baci Perugina in the next three years, upgrading its factory in San Sisto commune and establishing a new business unit to drive global growth for its Italian chocolate business.

The plans also include investing in marketing to grow Baci Perugina sales abroad.

The Perugina company was founded in Perugia in 1907, and Baci Perugina, a foil-wrapped bonbon that contains a whole hazelnut, dates back to 1922.

‘Baci’ means ‘kiss’ in Italian, and each sweet contains a love note: the Italian way to say “I love you”.

The plans to reinvigorate the brand include strengthening the San Sisto factory, further reinforcing the presence of the historical brand in Italy and making Baci Perugina a symbol of the Made in Italy around the world, like S. Pellegrino in the mineral water market. In fact the company has even brought on to Valeria Norreri, one of the key manager responsible for international expansion of S. Pellegrino brand (1.3 billion bottles sold in 145 countries), to run its new Confectionery International Business Unit.

Her work greatly contributed to transforming a mineral water into a product now recognized all around the world as a synonym of Italian excellence in the food and beverage market.

"I enthusiastically accepted this nomination; for me it is a new, exciting challenge" says Valeria Norreri, Nestlé Italy Confectionery IBU Manager."Baci Perugina has an exceptional legacy of tradition. 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. It’s more than just chocolate: we will tell the pleasure of surrounding with small things, gestures of love, and Italian-style flirting to create unforgettable moments made in Baci Perugina.”

A new Business Unit also has been created within the Confectionery Division of Nestlé Italy. And, Bruno Emmenegger has been named business executive manager.

Emmenegger has been with Nestlé since 1987, contributing to the success of the confectionery business in Mexico, Switzerland and Russia, as well as gaining significant experience in Italy.

Besides supporting the international expansion plan, Emmenegger will be in charge of consolidating and developing the Confectionery business in Italy, in a market scenario that has undergone profound changes in a recent years.

"An historical, prestigious, quality brand like Baci Perugina can and must seize all opportunities offered by new consumption habits and new sales channels continuing the work already done and conquering not only the Italian market, but also an increasing number of consumers and markets abroad,” says Emmenegger.

The plan also includes a €15 million investment in the San Sisto factory, which includes installing cutting-edge technology and an advanced organizational model that will allow the factory to respond the needs of increasingly challenging markets.


Damak’s pistachio appeal

Meanwhile, Nestlé also is working to bring one of its other international brands to the U.S. market.

The company is planning to sell Damak — a sumptuous combination of buttery, crunchy pistachios and silky smooth chocolate — in the states.

Available in a creamy, fine chocolate bar and a rich, dark chocolate bar, the sweet treat offers an adventurous taste experience not found in any other chocolate.

Pronounced “dih-mok,” the name is Turkish for “great taste,” alluding to the country’s centuries-old history in pistachios.

Damak tablets are made with quality chocolate, brimming with Turkish pistachios. The fine chocolate bar contains no artificial flavors or colors.

Damak chocolate bars are a bold and exotic combination of smooth chocolate and flavorful pistachios, which creates a delightful experience,” says Shelly Lofino, Brand Development Manager for Damak at Nestlé USA. “The brand is rich in heritage and offers a one-of-a-kind taste that must be sampled to truly appreciate. As a global leader in the confectionary category, Nestlé is proud to share this hallmark brand from our international portfolio with chocolate lovers in the U.S.”

Nestlé Damak chocolate bars are available at select retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $2.49 (2.82 oz).

For more information, visit theNestlé Damak websiteor facebook page.Discover and share the Damak experience with #DiscoverDamak.