25+ Facts About Nutella You Should Know

Nutella Facts: Woman holding a jar of Nutella

Often imitated, never duplicated, when it comes to sweet spreads, nobody does it like Nutella. With its smooth texture, highly addictive ingredients, and unmistakable hazelnut and cocoa taste, Nutella is one of those foods that are just about impossible to dislike. It is easily spread on pretty much anything from pancakes to bread and is the go-to substance for creamy, chocolatey, and nutty goodness. With all the Nutella you indulge in, how much do you really know about it? Read on to discover some interesting and lesser-known Nutella facts. 

Facts about Nutella

1. The correct pronunciation of Nutella is “NOU-tella” not “Nuh-tell-uh.”

We bet you’ve probably been pronouncing Nutella wrong. While pronouncing Nutella most of us stress the “nut” part of the word with an “uh,” but that’s totally not how you should be saying it.

According to James Stewart, Marketing Director for Nutella, Ferrero UK & Ireland, the emphasis should actually be put on the “N” and the “u” should sound like “OU” – as in, /oo/, like in “group” or “you” – ergo the correct pronunciation of Nutella is “NOU-tella.”

2.  Napoleon Bonaparte is partially responsible for the creation of Nutella.

As far-fetched as it may sound, the delectable spread we are all gaga for may never have existed if it weren’t for the French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1806, as part of Napoleon’s quest to conquer Europe and destroy the British economy, he enforced a blockade that halted British trade with mainland Europe.

During the turbulent years following the Napoleonic wars, the cash-strapped Italian government increased import taxes on certain goods including cocoa beans. This sent the price of cocoa skyrocketing threatening the livelihoods of many Italian chocolatiers.

In desperation, the wily chocolatiers of Piedmont decided to start adding cheap hazelnuts (which are found in copious amounts in Piedmont) to their chocolate in order to stretch out supplies. The resulting confection was named “gianduja”, after the famous character of the Italian Commedia dell’Arte, a popular form of theater in Italy.

3.  The original version of ‪‎Nutella was created in 1946 by Italian pastry maker Pietro Ferrero because of a cocoa shortage during World War II.

One of the fascinating Nutella facts is that it was born out of sheer necessity. 

Following World War II, Italy’s economy was tanking and chocolate became expensive and scarce due to rationing. Pietro Ferrero, a confectioner from Piedmont in Northern Italy, was one of those who was desperately looking for a cheaper alternative to chocolate. 

In 1946, inspired by the actions of his Piedmontese chocolatiers under similar circumstances a century earlier, Ferrero ingeniously created a sweet thick paste called “Pasta Giandujot” based on the old gianduja recipe. Made from hazelnuts, coconut butter, sugar, molasses, and a bit of cocoa, the initial batch of Ferrero’s Giandujot paste sold 300 kilograms (660 Ib). 

Chocolate-starved Italians gobbled it up and soon Ferrero had to team up with local farmers to increase their hazelnut crop to keep up with demand.

4. In its early days, Nutella was actually a loaf.

One of the lesser-known facts about the history of Nutella is that it was originally sold as a solid brick and not the creamy spread we recognize today. 

Rather, Ferrero’s Pasta Giandujot was made in loaves and wrapped in tinfoil, so it could be sliced and placed on bread.  It was so thick that it had to be cut with a knife.

5. When Nutella became a spread in 1951 it was known as “Supercrema.”

Nutella has gone through several changes to be the sweet spread that we enjoy today. In 1951, the recipe of Pasta Giandujot was altered into a chocolate-hazelnut paste that came in a jar, so it could be spread on the bread. This then became known as “Supercrema.”

That’s when the spread really took off and it’s thought that the spreadability helped alleviate the perception that chocolate was for only special occasions, allowing it to be a part of people’s daily diet. 

6. Nutella, as we know it today, was born in 1964.

In 1964, Pietro Ferrero’s son Michele Ferrero revamped Nutella (Supercrema at the time) with the goal of marketing it across Europe. Taking after his father, the younger Ferrero used trial and error to improve the spread’s recipe, adding palm oil and scaling it up for mass production. Thus, the Nutella we know and love today was born.  

Michele Ferrero also chose a name that was easy to understand and remember in a great number of languages: Nutella. It is a combination of the English word “nut” and the Latin suffix “ella,” meaning sweet. 

The first jar of Nutella came out from the Ferrero factory in Alba, Italy on 20 April 1964.

7. The company which creates Nutella, Ferrero SpA, uses a quarter of the world’s supply of hazelnuts.

It’s often erroneously reported that 25% of the world’s hazelnut production goes to Nutella. The truth is that its Italian parent company, Ferrero SpA is the number one user of hazelnuts in the world, buying up 25% of the entire world production.

However, since Nutella accounts for one-fifth of Ferrero SpA’s turnover, we would assume it still accounts for a significant percentage of the world’s supply of hazelnuts.

8. The main ingredient in Nutella isn’t hazelnut or chocolate; it’s sugar.

This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but the main ingredient in Nutella is refined sugar. In fact, sugar makes up about 57% of Nutella. 

Each two-tablespoon serving of Nutella contains about 21 gm of sugar. To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of sugar per day for children ages 2-18. 

The second biggest ingredient in Nutella is palm oil (17%). 

9. A 750 gm (26.5 oz) jar of Nutella contains 97 hazelnuts.

Hazelnuts make up 13% of a jar of Nutella.

10. Nutella has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 9.7.

Yup, due to its high fat content, Nutella has an SPF of 9.7. SPF and the number beside it indicates how well the sunscreen protects skin against UVB rays and sunburn.

But, even if you covered yourself in Nutella, you’d just lick it all off. Then where would your sun protection be 😉

11. For years, Nutella was free for Italian children.

In the 1960s, Nutella became so popular in Italy that markets began to offer free smear of Nutella to kids who came with a piece of bread. This highly successful marketing gimmick went on to be known as “The Smearing.” 

12. You could go around the world 1.8 times with the amount of Nutella produced in just one year.

One of the most mindblowing facts about Nutella is that a jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds all over the world. This also means that if you were to gather all of the Nutella produced each year, you would be able to circle the earth a total of 1.8 times. Given that the Earth’s circumference is 40,075 km (24,901 miles), that’s impressive!

Nutella also claims that there’s enough Nutella produced annually to cover the Great Wall of China eight times. Additionally, the amount of Nutella produced each year weighs roughly the same as New York’s Empire State Building (365,000 tons/331 million kg).

13. In 2017, Nutella was the subject of a major heist in Germany.

In what is probably the most famous Nutella heist to date, thieves in the German town of Neustadt stole a refrigerated trailer packed with Nutella, Kinder Surprise eggs, and other sweets, believed to be worth between €50,000 and €70,000. 

14. The first Nutella production plant outside Europe was in Australia.

In 1978, the first Nutella production plant outside Europe opened in Lithgow, near Sydney.

15. Nutella holds the world record for largest continental breakfast ever.

In honor of the brand’s 40th anniversary in 2005, Nutella provided breakfast for 27,854 people at Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. According to Guinness World Records, this was the largest continental breakfast ever.

16. Ferrero SpA, the parent company of Nutella, also owns a lot of other popular sweets on the market.

Ferrero SpA, the parent company of Nutella, also owns Kinder, Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tac, Mon Chéri, Butterfinger, and Rafaello among others.

In fact, the chocolate layer that surrounds the hazelnut in the middle of each Ferrero Rocher is Nutella.

17. Nutella cannot be called “chocolate cream” in Italy.

Nutella is marketed as a chocolate cream in several nations. Under Italian law, however, Nutella can only be called “hazelnut cream”, because it doesn’t meet the criteria for minimum cocoa solids.

18. Nutella is not supposed to be refrigerated.

Nutella is packed with a large amount of sugar which makes it shelf-stable and preserves its life without the need for refrigeration. So, for the love of God, don’t refrigerate Nutella unless you want that shiny brown goop to harden up and lose all its spreadable creaminess. Yuck!

According to Ferrero SpA, Nutella should always be stored at room temperature (between 18–22 °C or 64–72 °F) to ensure that it remains ideal for spreading.

19. Nutella has its own commemorative stamp.

On Nutella’s 50th anniversary in 2014, the Italian government issued a commemorative 70 cent stamp, with a jar of Nutella against a golden background.

20. France is the largest consumer of Nutella in the world.

One of the lesser-known Nutella facts is that France, not America or Italy, is the world’s largest consumer of Nutella. The French devour Nutella with the same gusto as Americans do peanut butter

21. Nutella first arrived in the United States in 1983.

Americans first got a taste of Nutella in 1983 when it was initially distributed in the northeastern part of the country. But it took a long time for it to be stocked in big chains.

22. A Nutella super fan created a World Nutella Day – and then got a cease-and-desist letter from Ferrero SpA.

On February 5, 2007, American blogger and Nutella lover, Sara Rosso founded World Nutella Day, a celebration of the hazelnut-chocolate spread made by Ferrero. World Nutella Day was instantly a big hit, with scores of Nutella fans coming together & affirming their passion for Nutella by sharing photos, videos, recipes, poems & organizing Nutella-themed parties.

In 2013, Rosso received a cease-and-desist letter from Nutella’s parent company Ferrero prohibiting her from publishing anything with the Nutella name or logo on it. However, Ferrero’s actions drew heavy criticism on social media, and the company quickly apologized telling Rosso they were grateful for her support.

Thankfully, World Nutella Day was saved, and lives on every 5th February! Note it in your calendar.

23. Nutella once tried to market itself as a part of a nutritious breakfast.

As ludicrous as this sounds it’s true. Seems that not everyone knew that eating everything slathered in Nutella is not good for you. Marketing Nutella as part of a “tasty yet balanced breakfast” landed Ferrero SpA in hot water in the United States. 

In 2012, a group of mothers in the United States attempted to sue the company for false advertising and misleading marketing. On top of paying 3 million USD in a class-action lawsuit, Ferrero SpA had to change Nutella’s label to stop advertising and marketing that it is good for you.

24. In 2017, the first-ever official Nutella Cafe opened in Chicago.

On May 31, 2017, the world’s first official Nutella Cafe opened on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. In what has been described as the ultimate Nutella experience, the cafe serves up an array of dishes dedicated to the delectable spread,

Dishes on the menu at the Nutella Cafe include Nutella crêpes, gelato, waffles, and pancakes smeared with the hazelnut chocolate spread.

25. In 2015, a French court banned a couple from naming their daughter after Nutella.

In 2015, a court in France refused to allow a couple to name their daughter Nutella. The couple eventually settled on the name “Ella.”

26. Nutella is gluten-free.

In addition, our favorite chocolate hazelnut spread is kosher and peanut-free. However, Nutella is non-vegan since it contains skim milk powder, which comes from cow’s milk.