Nutella — blessed giver of hope, sweet savior of the boring, wondrously sensational addition to absolutely anything—is a next-level discovery of flavor swirls. As a manic youth you learn about peanut butter and chocolate, but then, your taste buds develop and you want the more mature evolutionary step. You unearth the world’s greatest not-so-secret that is Nutella, and your whole body tantalizes with that thick, sugary, nutty spreadable glory. Let’s talk about what makes Nutella such a beloved worldwide obsession.
1. Napoleon and Hitler might be the reason Nutella even exists in the first place.
In the early 19th Century, Napoleon took it upon himself to kick British trade down as much as he could to pull toward epic victory in the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815). What came about was a blockade that forced a skyrocket in chocolate costs among European nations. Turin chocolatiers found a crafty way around by adding chopped hazelnuts to chocolate in order to stretch supplies, calling the new concoction “gianduia.”
Much later, during World War II, chocolate prices went through the roof due to limited supplies courtesy of the war. So in the mid-1940s, an Italian pastry-maker named Pietro Ferrero took inspiration from generations of Italian confectioners before him and created “Pasta Gianduja,” which offered up the spread as a sliceable loaf. Then, in 1964, the beloved mixture was finally renamed “Nutella,” a combination of the English word “nut” and the Latin suffix for sweet “ella.”
2. There’s been a Nutella heist and a Nutella scandal.
A few years ago, German thieves jacked 5.5 metric tons of Nutella from a parked truck, worth roughly $20,000. This came just weeks after “Nutellagate,” when it leaked that Columbia University had been forced to spend at least $5,000 a week on Nutella, a truly absurd amount, because students were consuming more than 100 pounds of the spread daily. That total wasn’t just polite lawful snacking either. Students were stealing the stuff, sneaking it away to their name dorms in soup containers.
3. You can’t name your kid Nutella.
Last year, parents in Valenciennes, France, had every interest in naming their kid Nutella, but were informed by a court that it could be “against the child’s interests,” after the name request was flagged by a registrar. The parents were forced to choose a new name, due to the judge recognizing the name Nutella could “be the cause of mockery” and “could have a negative impact on the child." They ultimately went with the name Fraisine.
4. There is such a thing as weed-infused Nutella.
While this might not seem too surprising, given the historic popularity of pot brownies, it’s still nothing to scoff at, people. Made by Organicares, a medical marijuana dispensary in San Jose, California, and (perfectly) called “Nugtella,” the dope product swirls hash oil into the spread. It’s likely an epic combo, because what sounds better than chocolate when you’re high?
5. Nutella uses 25% of the world’s hazelnut supply.
If we do the math, it doesn't seem so ludicrous. At least 50 hazelnuts wind up in each 13-ounce jar of the good stuff, and 180 million kilograms (nearly 400 million pounds) are sold every year. Nutella’s maker, Ferrero Group, is easily the largest consumer of hazelnuts in the world, purchasing a quarter of the global supply.
6. A jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds across 75 countries.
To compare, a human is born every 8 seconds. All of the Nutella sold in one year could be spread over more than 1,000 soccer fields. You could also circle the globe 1.4 times with the amount of Nutella produced in 2013. That’s how much we, as a global population, love Nutella.