Brand Story: Nutella – Globalization in a jar

My brand for today is Nutella – the yummy hazelnut and cocoa spread with the taste of molten Ferrero Rocher, which is good to smear on bread or even better to have a spoonful, just like that!

The word Nutella is a bilingual word – a combination of the English word “nut” with a Latin suffix “ella” meaning small.



Nutella started with the shortage of cocoa


The delicious hazelnut spread owes its existence to World War II. In the 1940s, cocoa was in short supply due to WW II rationing. So Mr. Pietro Ferrero, the founder of the Ferrero Company, chose to use hazelnuts, which were plentiful in northwest Italy, to extend the chocolate supply.

The original version of Nutella spread called ‘Pasta gianduja’ was made in loaves and wrapped in tinfoil, so it could be sliced and placed on bread for mothers. Children loved the taste, but many of them would just throw away the bread and only eat the pasta gianduja!

This led to the alteration of the product into a paste, so it could be spread on the bread. The spread was renamed “Nutella®” in 1964, combining “nut” with “ella”, giving it a soft ending. 


Globalization bottled in a jar


Nutella being a less expensive way for people to enjoy chocolate, was well received. European families started using Nutella as a breakfast staple on bread and toast. The Ferrero Company introduced this traditional Italian breakfast item to the U.S. market in 1983.  The popularity of Nutella has grown steadily over the years, and it is now marketed and sold all over the world.


People is more than 100 countries in the world share the enjoyment of such a unique, convenient and tasty product. Not only that, the ingredients sourced different countries around the world go into producing a jar of Nutella, which makes it a perfect example of globalization bottled in a jar.

An OECD case study on Global value chains states that

Hazelnuts come mainly from Turkey, palm oil from Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Brazil, cocoa mainly from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Ecuador, sugar mainly from Europe and the vanilla flavour from the United States and Europe. 


The composition of the ingredients is slightly different though depending on the country where it is sold.


A tasty balanced breakfast with Nutella


Nutella hazelnut spread continues to be made from the combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa, with no artificial colors or preservatives. When used in moderation with complementary foods, Nutella can form a part of a balanced breakfast. 

Spreading Nutella on bread or chapatti makes it like a chocolate treat for breakfast, something that my child enjoyed while I had the satisfaction of seeing her eat the bread as well.   

The popularity of Nutella is such that 

A jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds around the world.


This is higher than the average birth rate around the world. Have you tried it yet?


Reference & Image: 

[i] De Backer, K. and S. Miroudot (2013), “Mapping Global Value Chains”, OECD Trade Policy Papers, No. 159, OECD Publishing, Paris.

[ii] Nutella website



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    By: Somali K Chakrabarti

    Hi there ! I am a management and leadership coach and a ‘çlinical blogger’. Well, that’s what my family & friends call me now ! Here, I tell stories of different brands, how people relate to the brands and the values, beliefs and emotions that they associate with the brands. Hope you enjoy reading my posts.

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About the author

Somali K Chakrabarti

Hi there ! I am a management and leadership coach and a 'çlinical blogger'. Well, that's what my family & friends call me now ! Here, I tell stories of different brands, how people relate to the brands and the values, beliefs and emotions that they associate with the brands. Hope you enjoy reading my posts.

Readers Comments (22)

  1. Well Nutella is a favourite with my family as well. Especially the child who finishes a jar a week.

  2. ‘ella’ meaning soft…that makes the significance of the name clear, Undoubtedly one of the most favourite brands worldwide… 🙂 Thanks for sharing the information….

  3. The brand has indeed drawn the fancy of Indians kids and adults alike..

  4. bhudeb chakrabarti May 13, 2015 @ 4:53 am

    Excellent post on the lovable soft nut spread global brand .
    A healthful delicious breakfast treat .

  5. Hello Somali, my grandson lived on Nutella when he was a little boy – it was about the only thing he would eat! He’s 21 now and a strapping lad so it obviously didn’t do him any harm. I had no idea the word meant soft nut – I learn something new each day. Barbara

    • Hi Barbara, that’s some solace. I used to be amazed to see my daughter having scoop after scoop, but honestly even I could not resist a spoon or two. 🙂 But what’s more amazing is that you and me, living in different parts of the world are sharing our thoughts on a product that we both can relate to. Definitely the world has shrunk. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again . 🙂

      • Hi Somali, I find this shrinking world of ours pretty amazing! I was born in 1948 when telephones came in boxes at the end of the street and letters sent to other parts of the world usually went by ship and took months. Thanks for coming to visit me. Barbara.

  6. Pranab chakraborti May 13, 2015 @ 8:10 am

    Thanks for giving so much information about Nutella. Frankly we have butter only at home. Now I’ll try it once surely. Liked the post.

  7. I think I am some sort of an alien because I have so far never tasted nutella, even though I have heard the name numerous times.. I think it is high time I taste it.

  8. Sarbani Chowdhury May 14, 2015 @ 4:53 pm

    Enlightening &yummy article

  9. Too bad my mother doesn’t let me buy nutella jars often.


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