The little gianduiotto chocolate of Turin ended up at the centre of a big dispute between artisan and industrial chocolatiers. — AFP
The little gianduiotto chocolate of Turin ended up at the centre of a big dispute between artisan and industrial chocolatiers. — AFP  

Swiss confectionery giant Lindt is indicating a forthcoming deal with a group of Italian artisan chocolatiers, signaling a resolution to the months-long dispute over Turin’s famed gianduiotto.

Lindt, the owner of Italian producer Caffarel since 1997, may soon agree to the creation of a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for the gianduiotto, putting an end to the ongoing conflict. 

The dispute involves a group of around 40 artisan chocolatiers, including Ferrero, Venchi, and Domori, seeking PGI to elevate the chocolate’s profile and boost estimated annual sales of €200 million ($216 million).

“The recognition of the PGI will result in an increase in sales of gianduiotto,” said Antonio Borra, a lawyer for the group seeking the PGI.

The heart of the disagreement lies in the recipe, with Lindt’s Caffarel incorporating powdered milk and fewer hazelnuts, deviating from the original formula of 30-45% roasted hazelnuts from Piedmont, 25% cocoa, and sugar, proposed by the PGI advocates.

Lindt’s Italy head, Benedict Riccabona, expresses optimism, stating, “We are convinced that we can soon reach an agreement on the promotion of the gianduiotto in Italy and in the world.” The compromise on the horizon would allow the creation of the PGI while permitting Lindt’s subsidiary to maintain its brand, “Gianduia 1865—the authentic Gianduiotto of Turin,” and its distinct recipe.

Lindt had raised concerns about potential brand confusion, but the compromise aims to address these issues, ensuring the coexistence of the PGI and Lindt’s brand.

The resolution on the horizon promises a harmonious coexistence, ensuring the continuation of Turin’s sweet legacy. Final approval by the European Commission is expected by the end of the year, marking a significant success for chocolatiers, the region, and Lindt’s Caffarel.

“We are convinced that we can soon reach an agreement on the promotion of the gianduiotto in Italy and in the world,” affirms Benedict Riccabona of Lindt and Sprungli Italy. Antonio Borra, the lawyer, highlights the potential impact of PGI recognition, stating, “It’s a major success for the chocolatiers, the region, as well as Caffarel.”

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