One of the reasons behind Nutella's success over the years has been Ferrero's formidable ability to create demand and to adapt the advertising message to the times. In the 1960s, campaigns aimed at parents, who were encouraged to give a small prize to their children; then, in the 1970s Ferrero addressed children directly, emphasizing the merits of the "genuine" snack with pane e Nutella. With the emergence of protests against advertising as creating false needs, Ferrero has again adapted, leveraging on the consumer's emotional and subjective gratification. Finally, in the third millennium Nutella has focused on personalization - like having one's name on the jar - on promoting stories in the social networks of Nutella moments, with decorated gender-friendly jars and even introducing Nutella bluetooth speakers.
History of Nutella
Pietro Ferrero, a pastry chef in Turin, used to watch workers go to their factories bringing bread with tomatoes and cheese for a meal. He thought that if he could give those workers something sweet and inexpensive to eat with bread, he would hit a jackpot. In Piedmont at the time there was already a kind of chocolate made with cocoa and chopped hazelnuts: the "gianduja". Hazelnuts are abundant in Piedmont and the peasants did not even know what to do with them. In 1925 Pietro Ferrero perfected the so-called "pastone" (pastry mesh) of chocolate and hazelnuts (Nutella's grandfather), very good to eat with bread. Of course, more than by workers, it was immediately appreciated by children, who became Ferrero's target market.The war came, Pietro closed his shop in Turin and took refuge in Alba where he continued to work at his still too hard chocolate mixture. In the autumn of 1945 or early 1946, he found on a shelf a forgotten jar of cocoa butter. He added it to the mixture and created the Pasta Gianduja (or Giandujot), which was then packaged in the form of a small loaf, wrapped in tin foil, cut it into slices and sold at cheap prices. The ingredients were more or less those of today: sugar, hazelnuts, cocoa and vegetable fats. In stores the Giandujot cost 4-5 times less than traditional chocolate.
The Nutella brand
How did this happen? The aura that Ferrero managed to build around this product is amazing. The uniqueness of Nutella is not due to the quality of the product, or to the quality/price ratio but to advertising. Many attempts to imitate the recipe failed miserably, not because Nutella is unreachable from the quality point of view, but because no one was able to produce something equally attractive at the same price. In the popular imagination, Nutella is now the absolute leader and all imitations are seen as inferior. The consumer is accustomed to the taste of Nutella, and wants only that, considering inferior even products with a different, but better taste.
Today advertising aims directly to social and psychological needs with new slogans as "What would the world be like without Nutella?" Nutella is certainly a legendary product, known and appreciated all over the world. But it is really a quality product?
Like Coca-Cola and other companies, Ferrero has a secret recipe, carefully protected in the official factory in Alba. The cocoa butter of 1945 was replaced by a "mixture of vegetable oils", which is one of the best kept secrets from the company. So as not to violate the secret, Ferrero chose to lose some lawsuits (one in the U.S.) aiming at the impossibility of identifying the mysterious "vegetable oils". The ingredients of the recipe in the Italian label are: sugar (56%), vegetable oils (19%), hazelnuts (13%), cocoa, skimmed milk powder (6.6%), whey powder, soy lecithin (emulsifier), vanillin.