William Salice, who is credited with launching the Kinder Surprise, a hollow chocolate egg with a tiny toy inside, has died aged 83, an Italian children's organisation has said.
The non-profit Color Your Life foundation, whose establishment Salice inspired, said on Friday that his funeral would be held near Pavia in northern Italy on Saturday.
Italian news reports said Salice died in Pavia on Thursday evening.
Confectionery giant Ferrero said Michelle Ferrero envisioned the chocolate treat so children could have Easter every day, and Salice developed the product's launch and marketing.
The company said that after Salice retired in 2007, he established the foundation, which aims to help teenagers develop their artistic and scientific talents.