Nutella defies the conventional wisdom

Sugar reduction is one of the most powerful trends, so you would imagine that a brand that’s 56% sugar and comes from a ‘Big Food’ company – and includes palm oil as an ingredient – would be in trouble. But if you did, you’d be wrong. In fact, people can’t get enough of it.

Nutella is a great example of how often consumers tell researchers one thing – and then do something quite different once they are in the supermarket.

Italian giant Ferrero Rocher’s Nutella (56% sugar) is more popular than ever. In the UK, for example, retail sales were up by 42% over the period 2013-18 (Nielsen data) to £50 million ($65 million). And that’s because Nutella is ‘honestly indulgent’.

In 2018 Ferrero Rocher successfully harnessed it to the ‘permission to indulge’ and snackification trends, with the launch of Nutella B-ready – a finger of biscuit filled with Nutella, sold in single-serve packs and a permissible indulgence at only 115 calories per bar.

Nutella B-ready – a product already a big success in Italy and France – was the second most-successful new brand in the UK in 2018.

Consumers tell market researchers they want less sugar, but what they mean is they want less sugar in ‘healthy’ products, such as yoghurt. When it comes to life’s delicious little pleasures, it’s a different story.

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