How do you imagine your regular breakfast? That might be a bowl of cereal or bacon and eggs. That might also be a crunchy toast with butter or it might be a slice of a fresh bread with a Nutella hazelnut chocolate spread on it. The last one is the sweetest treat and might be a good competitor in the competition for the best breakfast attribute ever.
What is the history of Nutella?
Originally, the name of this world-famous hazelnut chocolate spread was very much different from what we know it is now. As the aftermath of the World War II there were great shortages of cocoa import in the whole world. Hence, chocolate products were hard to get, expensive and treated like real exclusives. However, it was a high time to create something that was cheaper than chocolate, but tasted same well and could satisfy the huge demand, which was constantly growing. So Pietro Ferrero, the founder of the great Ferrero Company, who owned a small Italian bakery at the time of 1940s, started to cell “Pasta Gianduja”. It was the original form of Nutella spread. The name was derived from two Italian words, “pasta” which means “paste” and “gianduja”, which is the name of a carnival character famous to the region” (History, Nutella USA). “Pasta Gianduja” was not soft and it was hard to spread it on a piece of bread. It supposed to be cut in slices to make sandwiches. In order to make it more enjoyable for children, Ferrero Company decided to cell it in jars in a soft spreadable form. With the change of form, it was also re-named to “Supercrema” as the company started to export it to different European countries and the product name had to be easy for customer to remember and recognize. Therefore, the easy name was created and the best-selling formula was introduced to public. How the Ferrero Company did come to the product called Nutella? In 1983, when the hazelnut chocolate spread left Italy to travel to the USA, it arrived to be known as Nutella. It was associated with the word “Nut” and the “ella” part gave it melody-like ending, probably because the main customer branch, which had to be influenced by the product, was mainly children and “sweet” chocolate-lovers.
What is Nutella?
Despite the fact that Nutella has tens of competitors on the market, its history and a unique formula made it the first and the most popular hazelnut spread all over the world. “Nutella holds about a 70 percent market share of chocolate spreads in the U.S., and demand for the sweet stuff is only growing” (Cutler, “Nutella taste test: How do other hazelnut chocolate spreads compare?”). The recipe of a product is simple, and three main ingredients are roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and cocoa. According to the main Nutella website, the spread also contains sugar, palm oil, lecithin and vanillin. The main advantage of Nutella, as pronounced by the marketing experts, is that it does not contain any artificial colors or preservatives. However, the real content of the Nutella spread is not as nutritious as it is being advertised. It contains only a skimmed milk powder, whey powder and a modified palm oil, which has been pronounced quite an unhealthy substance leading to obesity, when over consumed with food. Nutella used to be advertised as a nutritious product, good for the health of children in the first place. However, in the current times of debates about the real nutrition value of Nutella, it has been proven that it contains too much fats and sugar, therefore, cannot be pronounced as a healthy diet component. Although, there are good things about Nutella as well. It has proven to be produced with pure compressed cocoa, not a cocoa butter, which is much cheaper, however, cannot substitute pure cocoa in its quality. It is also true that real hazelnuts are used in the spread production.
What is the role of Nutella in the current culture?
Since not many people are aware of Nutella history and the modern debates over this product, Nutella has grown and continues to grow into one of the most popular brands of sweet spreads around the whole world. In fact, people do not really think about Nutella as a product on a store shelf. It is already an essential part of their day. People may go to bed with a pleasant smile on their face, knowing that tomorrow morning they will wake up and make themselves a breakfast with a slice of warm bread and the Nutella spread on it. People may go shopping and look for the specific type of crackers, which will taste best with Nutella. In the modern days, people might even cover their donut with Nutella and put a plate close to the Nutella jar just to post a nice picture on Instagram. They do it as they know this picture will get a bunch of likes, since there is nothing more popular than Nutella. The role of Nutella seems to be huge. It is a popular brand no matter how many debates are there. Even its appearance is quite pleasant and likeable (see fig.1).
If you start examining this picture closely, you might feel your stomach aching for a crunchy warm toast all covered with Nutella and a glass of milk right out of the fridge. There is one word suitable in such case – yummy. Another word – marketing approach towards customers’ emotions and memories. The so-called “Nutella culture” has even started an annual World Nutella Day on February 5, 2011. “It is a day that commemorates and celebrates all the yummy goodness that is Nutella” (Everett, World Nutella Day). In fact, there is even a website called “World Nutella Day”, and if you take a picture of yourself with Nutella, you can easily participate in a contest. Italian culture of Nutella has even grown into cult of adoration. There is no surprise to it, since Italy is the motherland of Nutella, so it is directly related to this region. “Nutella became so popular in Italy that Italian markets began to offer free “smears” of Nutella to any kid who showed up with a piece of bread” (Marshall, 8 Things You May Not Know About Nutella). Italians even started to produce 11-pound jars, which, actually, have found its customers worldwide (see fig. 2).
What is my own experience with Nutella?
I would be a unique person to say that I have never tasted Nutella. I did and it tasted so good that I might never want to try any other hazelnut spread. In fact, there are plenty of them! Hershey’s have enough chocolate spreads, but they never tasted as good as Nutella. I must say that my first experience of tasting Nutella was in childhood. My mother used to treat me with a simple breakfast that consisted of a warm toast with the Nutella spread on it. I must say it was a rare treat since she was afraid I would become too fat. It must be the reason why I waited for Saturday morning all week long to get a bite of Nutella toast. I must also confess that sometimes I sneaked into the kitchen just to grab a spoon of Nutella. I am sure that mother knew that I was doing it. Nevertheless, she never caught me, so I was quite secure in my “crime”. Now I am not that much obsessed with Nutella. However, I cannot tell that I am totally over it. When I get off my healthy salads, I go to the store and buy me a Nutella jar to keep my spirit high. Actually, something does make you happy when you eat this simple hazelnut chocolate spread. Who knows what this can be - a good marketing or a spread itself?
In conclusion, I simply wish to mention that Nutella is not a simple product. It is a unique product. It is a real brand. Everyone knows that a successful brand is the one that creates emotions in people. Well, this is exactly what Nutella does. Is the secret in hazelnuts? In Pietro Ferrero? In Italy? Probably, none of these would be a correct answer. However, taken altogether with a hint of favourable image, these attributes would be able to present us a good global market-winning product profile.
History, Nutella USA. Web. 2 Mar. 2014. Cutler. G, Nutella taste test: How do other hazelnut chocolate spreads compare? Fox News. 28 Feb. 2014.Web. 2 Mar. 2014. Everett. T, World Nutella Day. Examiner 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 2 Mar. 2014
Marshall J. B., 8 Things You May Not Know About Nutella. 2 Apr. 2013 Web. 2 Mar. 2014.