Nutella Sales Up As Italians Sweeten Economic Crisis
words by Carol King
Sales of Italy’s popular chocolate and hazelnut spread, Nutella, grew last year as Italians looked to a way to soften the effects of the economic crisis: by indulging their sweet tooth.
The maker of Nutella, Ferrero, saw profit wanes in 2011 to 2012 to €95.9 million because of increase in the price of raw materials. However, domestic sales were up, and sales of Nutella grew 2.8% from the previous year.
Nutella was first created in Alba, Piedmont during the 1940s by Pietro Ferrero, a patisserie maker and founder of the Ferrero company. When rationing in World War II meant cocoa beans were in short supply, to extend the chocolate ratios, Pietro mixed toasted hazelnuts with cocoa, cocoa butter and vegetable oil to create ‘Pasta Gianduja’. Originally, it was sold in loaves and wrapped in tinfoil, so it could be sliced and placed on bread for mothers to make sandwiches for their children.
In 1949, Ferrero altered the original recipe so the product could be spread onto bread easily, calling it ‘Supercrema Gianduja’. In 1964, the spread was renamed ‘Nutella’ and it is now sold in more than 70 countries. The Ferrero family has gone on to become the wealthiest in Italy according to ‘Forbes’, with assets of US$19 billion dollars in March 2012. (to find out how to make Nutella yourself click here)
Nutella’s continuing success comes at a time when Nutella lovers around the world unite to celebrate World Nutella Day on 5 February. The event will see thousands of bloggers and Nutella fans worldwide celebrate with online and offline tributes to the spread. The 2013 celebration is being marketed with a ‘Keep Calm and Carry a Spoon’ image.
Two American writers living in Italy, Sara Rosso and Michelle Fabio, initiated World Nutella Day in 2007, aiming to encourage Nutella enthusiasts worldwide to get creative with the spread.