Italy's Nutella spread turns 60: from a factory in Piedmont to global success story

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Italy's Nutella spread turns 60: from a factory in Piedmont to global success story
Nutella jars at the Ferrero plant in Villers-Ecalles, northwestern France. Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

Nutella, the famous chocolate-hazelnut spread made by Italy's Ferrero company turned 60 years' old on Saturday 20th April. But how did one Piedmont-made cream go on to conquer the world?


The first jar of the spread was produced by the Ferrero factory in Alba, in the Piedmont region, on 20th April 1964, but the Ferrero family came up with the idea much earlier.

Back in the 1920s, Pietro Ferrero had the idea of a low-priced chocolate snack to eat with bread which, he said, was the perfect replacement for workers who typically brought bread and meats or cheese to eat at the factory.

The chocolate spread became a chocolate-hazelnut spread because of Piedmont's tradition for gianduja (a harder blend of chocolate with hazelnuts, invented in Turin) and because hazelnuts were readily available at a low cost.

But the spread wasn't called Nutella at this point. In 1946, it was called Giandujot or Pasta Gianduja and it cost some four to five times less than the price of traditional chocolate. Back then, it was sold by weight and cut into slices to fill sandwiches.

In 1951, it underwent a name change to Supercrema and in 1963, Pietro's son, Michele, decided to market the product across Europe prompting another name change to the one we all know.


Since then, Nutella's success has known no bounds. It's featured in films (Bianca – above), mentioned in songs by Giorgio Gaber and appeared in essays and recipe books.

Today, 500 thousand tonnes of the addictive spread are produced each year and it's sold in 170 countries around the world.

READ ALSO: Italian recipe of the week: Frappe ripiene di nutella


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