Where Did Nutella Originate?
In the 1940s, there was very little chocolate available in Italy and cocoa was in short supply due to World War II. It was Pietro Ferrero that is credited with inventing a cream of hazelnuts and cocoa, calling it “Giandujot” or “Pasta Gianduja”. Initially, the product consisted of loaves of bread with a spread covering the inside, wrapped in aluminum foil, and then sliced.
The spread became so popular that Pietro Ferrero started the Ferrero Spa Company and the brand, Ferrero Rocher. In 1951, the company started selling containers of the hazelnut spread which was sold under the name, Supercrema. In 1964, they launched Nutella as their brand of hazelnut spread. It was in 1965 that they launched the iconic Nutella packaging that you still find in supermarkets today.
How is Nutella Made Today?
If you happen to be a fan of hazelnuts, they are plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy where Nutella history originates. Today, Ferrero Rocher is the number one importer and processor of hazelnuts worldwide. The Ferrero Rocher company has sales revenue of more than $10 Billion in 2017.
For Nutella, the company buys only raw, shelled, whole hazelnuts from the last available harvest. Once in the factories, before the roasting process, they carry out their quality control process. They have inspections when the nuts come into their factory and then after processing.
They have a very stringent standard for their hazelnuts. Every day, groups of internal panelists in the Ferrero Rocher laboratories ensure that the taste, aroma, and texture are optimal in each stage of the process. They are always looking to guarantee excellent product quality for their consumers.
Most of what is used for Nutella comes from Turkey, the world’s biggest producer. Italy is second, but there is a great deal of variation in the quality and size of Italian hazelnuts. Italian nuts are too expensive to keep Nutella affordable. They have started to increase their use of hazelnuts in foreign countries including Chile, South Africa, and Australia.
The Ferrero Farming Values Hazelnut Program
The Ferrero Farming Values Hazelnut (FFVH) is a program created in 2012 specifically for hazelnut sourcing. The program aims at one side to increase productivity and improve hazelnut quality. On the other side, to ensure that production and the harvest are performed in a responsible and respectful way.
Making Nutella History, Today
As of 2018, the FFVH program has focused exclusively on Turkey. The Ferrero Company is the leader in establishing the market price for bulk hazelnuts being used worldwide. What exactly does this mean? They’ve established over 100 model farms and orchards and held more than 200 training sessions throughout 6 regions. The program has reached more than 17,000 farmers and continues to grow at impressive rates.