Nutella Lovers Celebrate its Golden Jubilee
By: Sukhmani Kaur
BUZZZZ!! The bell rings; it’s time for lab and some students head down to the cafeteria for the best meal of the day, breakfast. “Should I run down the Hogwarts-like staircase and devour some bagels with cream cheese, or go to the Brown Bag for some Nutella?” ponders a Hathaway Brown high school student struggling with her huge backpack bursting with overstuffed binders (we all know that wonderful load of homework we wade through every day of our upper school lives). She decides to make a quick dash to the Brown Bag and narrowly avoids a full-on collision with her classmate. They both gaze in dismay at the winding line of students that stretches out of the Brown Bag. Everyone is impatiently awaiting their turn at the cash register. They each have a Nutella “To-Go” container. The sight of the dark, creamy Nutellas and the crisp, golden sticks makes everyone’s mouth water. It takes all of their self-control to wait their turn so that they can rip into the Nutella and sticks and gobble them up. Finally, as she savors the creamy Nutella, the student wonders how or why this amazing snack was even created. That girl is you! Yes, you are sitting here eating Nutella while reading this article (even if you are not, you wish you were), wondering about why I am writing about a snack that people across the globe love to eat over and over again. Well, get excited, it’s the 50th anniversary of Nutella!
For those of you who might not have had the pleasure to get to know Nutella, let me introduce it to you. Nutella is a spread made from skim milk, a little bit of cocoa beans, and of course, the very well-known roasted hazelnuts. Twenty five percent of the world’s hazelnuts produced each year end up in the spread. Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and the founder of the Ferrero Company, came up with the original version of Nutella in 1946. During World War II, cocoa beans were scarce and rationed; Mr. Ferrero therefore used the hazelnuts as a cocoa extender. It was initially sold as a chocolate brick that had to be cut with a knife. It was only after Mr. Ferrero modified the recipe, making it into a spreadable paste that Italians could put on bread, that Nutella’s sales increased. According to Mail Online, 365,000 tons of Nutella were sold in 160 countries in 2013. In the United Kingdom, more than 11 million jars of Nutella are bought each year, making it the most popular spread in the UK. Nutella’s Facebook page has more than 26 million fans. It is eye opening to think that a jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds. Nutella started selling in the United States 25 years ago and has been picking up in sales ever since its introduction to consumers in this country.
One of the main reasons for its success is that Nutella has been marketed as being a “natural” product. A 750g jar contains 97 hazelnuts in association with sugar, vegetable oil, cocoa, skim milk powder and a drop of vanilla flavor. The glossy look and creamy texture come from the addition of whey powder and soya lecithin. Health experts have criticized Nutella for being rich in sugar (56%) and fat (30%). Only 13% of the spread is made from hazelnuts. Each tablespoon of Nutella is made up of 100 calories which would require a person to walk for 30 minutes at a brisk pace to walk off the calories in a single tablespoon. Despite its “sinful” calories, Nutella’s popularity continues unabated. Nutella cafés have been opened in New York and Chicago that sell Nutellas pastries and crepes. Nutella lovers have made Mr. Ferrero the 21st richest person in the world. In March 2014, the Italian government issued a stamp to honor Nutella on its 50th anniversary.
So go ahead, slurp up some of this delicious, dark chocolate spread. You can even share your stories of Nutella online and hope to win a prize in addition to enjoying one of the most desired spreads in the world.