Kinder Eggs misused for smuggling drugs
William Salice worked closely with Michele Ferrero to develop the Kinder Surprise.

William Salice, the man credited with co-creation of kids' favourite the Kinder Surprise, has died aged 83. His death by a stroke on December 29, was confirmed by his foundation.

Salice, who was originally from Turin, Italy, joined the Ferrero food group in 1960 and worked closely with then-boss Michele Ferrero. The famous Kinder Egg was launched in 1974 after the company sought to find a use for the company's Easter egg moulds that went largely unused throughout the year.

The Ferrero company, which was founded in 1946 by Michele's father Pietro Ferrero, saw exponential growth during the 1960s and 1970s with the advent of world-renowned product Nutella, which Salice also helped to launch. The Kinder Surprise – a small children's toy encased by a chocolate egg – added to the company's now well-established arsenal.

However, Salice himself never took credit for the Kinder Surprise himself, and said: "The inventor is Ferrero, I was just the material executor."

Salice worked at Ferrero until 2007 when he retired, eight years before the death of Michele Ferrero in 2015, aged 89.After his retirement, Salice set up the

After his retirement, Salice set up the Color Your Life Foundation which is aimed at helping young people nurture their talents in the arts, science and craft.

The Ferrero Food Group, which calls itself a "consolidated presence in the hazelnut world" markets a range of products worldwide, including Kinder Bueno and "ambassador's favourites" Ferrero Rocher. The group made a profit before tax of €889m for the year ending August 2015, with a turnover of €9.5bn.

Despite Ferrero's massive global presence, the Kinder Surprise remains unavailable in the US because of a 1938 law. According to US Customs and Border Protection, more than 60,000 Kinder Eggs were seized from travellers entering the US in the 2011 fiscal year. The eggs are banned in the US because of the toy they contain is regarded as a choking hazard.