Published on Thursday, 10 July 2014 00:00
It is difficult to find someone who dislikes Nutella. What's not to like? Simply slather on a thick, rich, creamy spread on a piece of bread and you can easily enjoy a small piece of hazelnut heaven. Even criminals seem to agree that it is incredibly awesome! In 2013 the chocolate-hazelnut spread made headlines in Germany, where thieves pulled off a $20,000 heist, stealing 5.5 metric tons of the sweet stuff from a parked truck. We present to you 8 facts of the world's favorite spread.
1. Napoleon and Hitler are responsible for the world's Nutella addiction
Back in 1806, Napoleon tried to stop British commerce as a means to win the Napoleonic wars. The result was a disastrous continental blockade that caused the cost of chocolate to skyrocket and left Piedmontese chocolatiers in the lurch. Chocolatiers in Turin came up with a way to avert the calamity and started adding chopped hazelnuts to chocolate in order to stretch the supply as much as possible. The unlikely concoction turned out to be a huge hit and the paste was dubbed “gianduia”.
After a century later, chocolate once again tipped the scales in the market and became scarce all thanks to Hitler and the rationing in Europe during World War II. An Italian pastry maker named Pietro Ferrero took a leaf out of what chocolatiers before him did and once again turned to the mighty hazelnut for salvation in 1946 and created Pasta Gianduja, renamed “Nutella” in 1964.
2. Nutella sells like hotcakes
Ok, so this is not a very surprising fact. Of course it does. But do you know how incredibly fast it sells?According to statistics, one jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds throughout the world!
3. Nutella holds the world record for “Largest Continental Breakfast”
During Nutella's 40th Anniversary breakfast celebration in 2005, a total of 27,854 people gathered in Gelsenkirchen, Germany to enjoy a meal that consisted of little more than Nutella itself. The gathering itself won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Largest Continental Breakfast” in the world.
4. Nutella spreads far and wide
Get it, get it? Nutella “spreads”? Not only is it widely available for purchase in 75 countries, all of the Nutella sold in a year could be spread over more than 1000 soccer fields.
5. Nutella is very well-”liked”
In 2009, Nutella reportedly had the 3rd most “liked” Facebook fan page with an amazing amount of two million fans. It fell in just behind the fan pages of Barack Obama and Coca-Cola. While Nutella's facebook page no longer ranks among the top in Facebook these days, it does currently have a whooping following of over 28 million.
6. Nutella has a “smeared” reputation
Nutella became so popular in Italy that Italian supermarkets began offering free “smears” of Nutella to any kid who shows up with a piece of bread. The marketing strategy was punnily referred to as “The Smearing” and became so successful that almost everyone in Italy knows the brand name Nutella.
7. A face to Nutella
The chocolate and hazelnut substance gianduia is named after a character from Italian commedia dell'arte named Gianduja. He is depicted as a smiling Piedmontese peasant with a three-point hat who rides around town on a donkey clutching a duja—which in the Piedmontese dialect means “container.” Gianduja masks were sold all over the Piedmont region of Italy, and his face was plastered all over early Nutella advertisements.
8. There is world Nutella Day
Two bloggers from Italy were such huge fans of Nutella that they decided to create a day to celebrate this wonderful spread in 2007. So every year on 5th February is a day dedicated to eating and commemorating the awesomeness of Nutella, sharing Nutella recipes and memories, and looking a Nutella food-porn.