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NUTELLA: World’s favourite bread spread

June 2, 2015

I’m not a big consumer of the world’s most popular chocolate and hazelnut spread – preferring solid goodness like Baci or Ritter Sport, but I’m concerned about the future of NUTELLA and its devotees.

Baci chocolatesRitter Sport chocolate

This timeline shows recent disturbing facts. Perhaps the beginning of No-tella?

1946 – Italian pastry maker Pietro Ferrero creates a solid chocolate loaf, adding locally grown hazelnuts as an extender due to the short supply of cocoa post World War 11. Children decide it’s a great breakfast treat with bread.

1951 – Now a cream consistency, Supercrema Gianduja is a big hit with children when shopkeepers encourage them to visit their stores bearing slices of bread to be topped with the spread. This becomes known as ‘The Smearing’.

1964 – Re-branded as ‘Nutella’ (pronounced ‘Nootella’) by the founder’s son Michele Ferrero, the spread spreads outside Italy, becoming a favourite with French and Spanish children. My parents however offer me a chocolate bar in a buttered sandwich.

1973 – The Italian film Bread and Chocolate is released. The bittersweet story about an Italian immigrant seeking work in Switzerland includes an outdoor scene where main protagonist Nino Manfredi bites into a bread roll filled with a chocolate bar. The crunching noise is so loud it stops the scene’s string quartet mid sonata.

1978 – Manufacture begins in Australia at Lithgow, about 140 kms from Sydney.

1983 – I discover Nutella and cream cheese sandwiches while studying in Florence.

2007 – Chocolate/hazelnut spread aficionado invents ‘World Nutella Day’ on 5 February.

2013 – Chocolate/hazelnut spread aficionado receives a cease-and-desist order from Ferrero-Rocher who claims their permission was not sought to officially celebrate the spread globally. Over 46,000 social media followers express outrage.

2014 – Nutella®, now available in approximately 160 countries, turns 50.

2014 – Unseasonal weather in Turkey, the world’s leading hazelnut exporter, creates a global shortage. My idea (in a previous post) of combining smashed sugared almonds with chocolate to make almond bark seems inspired.

2014 – Warnings issued of a future global cocoa crisis due to crop failure, disease and adding chocolate to EVERYTHING including gin, vodka and potato crisps.

2015 – Michele Ferrero – owner of the Nutella empire and the richest man in Italy – dies aged 89, with rumours his son is not so interested in the business and takeovers could follow.

2015 – French court bans parents from naming their baby daughters “Nutella” after judge rules “it’s not in the best interest of a child because of the risk of abuse.”

2015 – A friend (let’s call him Gus) announces he’s giving up Nutella because of the nasties it contains, including palm oil, vanillin (MSG) and soy lecithin.

2015 – I hear about a healthy, organic alternative called Nocciolata but it’s not available in Australia. Still wanting a sugar fix, I buy a breadstick and chocolate variation instead called Nutella & GO. Close examination of ingredients list reveals breadsticks contain palm oil.

Nutella & GO

If you love Nutella but want something healthier, try David Leibovitz’s recipe. For an adults-only version, do what renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria does – add salt and an olive oil drizzle to melted chocolate on a bread roll. Or add it to cream cheese in a toasted sandwich.

Start stockpiling now!

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18 comments

  1. Ah Nutella! I remember when I was in grade 1 I would have in my lunch kit panini with Nutella or prosciutto or a salad of oranges, fennel, olives and a drizzle of olive oil. The other kids would always make fun of my lunch–but who’s laughing now!


    • Children can be so cruel! But the rest of your lunchbox is making me hungry. Thanks for your comments.


  2. I briefly enjoyed Nutella, years ago, then resumed putting honey on my toast and bread.

    Your timeline for Nutella is fascinating, as I always thought it was quite a recent product. It’s a shame if these forecast events come to pass due to various shortages!


    • Nutella is certainly older than I thought too. I had imagined it was created in the early 1980s. And ‘The Smearing’ never reached Australia either.


  3. I used to dip into a jar of Nutella with a teaspoon once upon a time… and did buy those tiny little packs for my children, as a once in a while treat. Interesting timeline. Loved reading this.


    • Thanks Liz. I think there’s something more addictive than the palm oil, MSG and soy lecithin in the stuff. How else to explain such world domination?


  4. Ciao Ambra!! I knew it was made after World War II but I didn’t go into the rest of the history. I don’t buy it very often. Shortage huh?? Could it be artificially created?? Conspiracy theory here. I have come across a Nutella recipe with all natural ingredients. It sounds very good and the opinion was that it tasted better. Of course it won’t be cheap because hazelnuts aren’t cheap. Great post!!


    • Ciao Marisa. Worth trying the recipe I think. Have you heard of the product I mentioned in my post – Nocciolata? It’s available in the US apparently (but not here in Australia).


  5. I love the bit about the French court – that’s just bonkers! Both wanting to call your child that AND banning it.


    • It’s a laugh isn’t it? And to think it’s only a couple of letters away from ‘Nigella’


  6. I just filled the car’s petrol tank, ready for the week ahead, and saw Nutella and Go! on the counter at the service station. I think you can safely say that when a food product is sold in service stations, it’s guaranteed to be pretty unhealthy! Also the association of petrol fumes and the idea of sweet, thick brown paste really turns my stomach. Strange how that takes all the fun away!


    • I agree Jeannette. Although I have to own up to giving Nutella and Go! a test drive (!) … only for research you understand. I was having a stressful day when writing my blog post and I just kept eating both cream and sticks during the day. Shameful.


  7. Reblogged this on Cooking Up a Storm With Miss Polly.


    • Thanks very much for the re-blog. I’m off to visit your site now. cheers


  8. Palm oil is responsible for making me give up so many of my fav (guilty pleasure) foods. I was buying the Aldi version but just recently they announced they were moving from a palm-oil free product, to one that has palm oil. #FFS


    • About 50% of supermarket food contains palm oil, yet most people are unaware of it or know it but find it too difficult to pinpoint the culprits. Nutella stated last year their palm oil is ethically-sourced but who knows if it will stay that way.


      • It is the devil’s work 😦 Miss7 is angry that we can no longer buy party treats such as Cheezels and certain rice crackers coz of bloody palm oil. Do you use the app? I highly recommend it.


  9. I’ve heard of the app but haven’t tried it yet. Thanks for the heads-up



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