Things about France that surprised me: love of Nutella

I’ve already discussed the surpising French love of le hamburger and pizza. This week I’m sticking with the (Easter) chocolate theme and (frankly) milking it for all it’s worth!

What REALLY goes into a jar of Nutella | Daily Mail Online

Surprisingly there’s nothing France loves more than Nutella – at least according to a 2020 review of the most-sold groceries in French shops (apart from wine). It was not only the most sold product – the brand dominated half of the top 10 rankings. Claiming the top spot, the Nutella 1kg (2lb) pot generated €40 million worth of sales in 2020. The 1kg chocolate pot was so popular that it outranked butter, black coffee and toilet paper.

Fifth was the 975g pot of Nutella, with turnover of €31 million, followed closely by Nutella 750g (€30 million and Nutella 400g (also €30 million). Then in 10th spot Nutella biscuits, the only non-pot version of the brand on the list. The study presumably didn’t even take account of sales of supermarket own-brands or organic versions of the ubiquitous chocolate spread.

Allegedly, the French eat 26% of the world consumption of Nutella equivalent to about 75,000 tons per annum!

Quelle surprise! Nutella is not even a French product. This brand of sweetened hazelnut cocoa spread is manufactured by the Italian company Ferrero – yes, they of the sickly Ferrero Rocher choclates –  and was first introduced in 1964. It’s so popular in France that it has its own manaufacturing capability in Villers-Écalles.

France’s longstanding love affair with the chocolate spread Nutella is a faithful kind that begins, for many, at childhood and lasts for life. French children smear the hazelnut paste onto their bread in the morning, some dip the tartine in a bowl of chocolate milk. Adults might lay off the topping during the week, but few can resist that occasional tartine de nutella. And let’s not forget the absolute classic: crèpes de Nutella. French people eat it by the spoonful to connect with their inner child.

You might remember that back in 2018, a 70% discount on Nutella at the Intermarché supermarket chain turned into a ‘riot’, with customers jostling and battling each other to get their hands on the pots.

And even though in reality it was more like a feeding frenzy than a riot, France’s passion is in no doubt.

Would there have been the same reaction to jars of pickles, such as cornichons? Certainly not! Nutella is pure pleasure for children and to offer it at a bargain price obviously attracts lots of customers. Still, although it may seem bizarre to many, it’s nice to know the French can still surprise us from time to time.

Let’s leave the final word on the subject to French President Emmanuel Macron:

62 Comments on “Things about France that surprised me: love of Nutella

  1. I love Nutella. One of our large warehouse stores sells a 2-pack, which, of course, I stashed at the onset of the pandemic. A jar or Nutella+a spoon=one happy gal! haha! I’m not even looking at the photo of ‘ingredients.’

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I must admit, I have been known to eat crèpes de Nutella on occasion, while visiting France. Despite the masses of sugar and palm oil.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. My kids loved it as well. Once I became aware of the sugar and palm oil, though, I never bought it again. I bet one could make a healthier version at home with ground nuts, coconut oil, cocoa and honey.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I think I probably ate my bodyweight in Nutella & banana crepes while wandering the streets of Paris. Every corner had a crepe vendor selling all kinds of creations, but Nutella certainly seemed like their top seller!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you for sharing this article. I have to share this with my French partner who, not so surprising, is also a huge Nutella fan! It is funny how the French people I know are so picky about their chocolates and only buy the best Parisian brands to then indulge in Nutella a bit later. The amount of sugar is pretty shocking! Thanks for the post!
    Marcella (A Dutch travel writer residing in Paris)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That brought back memories of when Cyberspouse and his workmates used to go on the popular day trips to France and he would return with some wine and cheese, but also a giant jar of Nutella, great excitement for the children – and me. He also brought strange plastic gadgets that dispensed French sweets and giant M&M men who dispensed M&Ms when you moved their arms.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: Things about France that surprised me: love of Nutella – Insigght

  8. Pingback: Things about France that surprised me: love of Nutella – Entertainment world

  9. Pingback: Chocolate from Piedmont: Part I – View from the Back

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