The Turbulent History Behind World Nutella Day

A jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds, according to The Boar. In 2018, French supermarkets even grew chaotic due to a price reduction of 70 percent in the dessert treat. People clearly love this hazelnut spread, which is why it's not surprising there's a World Nutella Day that honors the sweet mix. An American blogger, Sara Rosso, initiated World Nutella Day after falling in love with the nutty flavor after visiting Italy in 2000.

As Time Bulletin notes, Nutella had yet to reach mainstream popularity in America, meaning that in addition to being delicious, it also proved rare. To raise the popularity of her beloved Nutella, Rosso, in collaboration with another blogger, Shelley Ruelle, initiated the unofficial holiday. By 2013, World Nutella Day grew to the extent that people began to take notice. T2 Marketing described the flourishing scene, as 40,000 Facebook fans that were all sharing the various ways they love to use their Nutella. Today, an acknowledgement of the holiday's creation is even included on the official Nutella website's timeline.

A case of complete overeaction

Although Nutella now lauds this fan initiative, they initially attempted to stop World Nutella Day. In 2013, reported that the company had sent a cease and desist letter to Russo. No longer would she be able to publish anything featuring the chocolate spread. "The cease-and-desist letter was a bit of a surprise and a disappointment, as over the years I've had contact and positive experiences with several employees of Ferrero, SpA., and with their public relations and brand strategy consultants, and I've always tried to collaborate and work together in the spirit and goodwill of a fan-run celebration of a spread I (to this day) still eat," Rosso wrote in a note explaining why the site would be ending. 

No one is sure why Nutella would antagonize fans for giving them free publicity. However, they appeared to have held the line as even though World Nutella Day still exists, the trademark of its parent company, Ferrero Group, is emblazoned in the bottom corner of the website. Furthermore, Rosso's professional homepage states that in 2015, she handed control of World Nutella Day over to the company. Fans of the product may not mind, but it seems like a needless display of control that could only really bother people paying attention.