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World Nutella Day
March 1, 2015, 4:20 pm

The death of Italy's richest man, Nutella billionaire, Michele Ferrero at the age of 89 came days after World Nutella Day on 5 February, an annual event for fans of the chocolate hazelnut spread - some of whom have developed imaginative ways of eating it.

Ferrero's father, a pastry- maker named Pietro, developed the forerunner to Nutella in 1946, called Giandujot, combining a small amount of cocoa and lots of hazelnuts to make an affordable luxury at a time chocolate was expensive.

How the world went nuts for a hazelnut spread is evident in figures – last year some 365 million kilos were consumed - roughly the weight of the Empire State Building - in 160 countries around the world.

Its name also gave the product instant international appeal. It said nuts. It also said Italy – '-ella' being a common affectionate or diminutive ending in Italian, as in mozzarella (cheese), tagliatella (a form of pasta), or caramella (Italian for a sweet).

Although, it is nearly 57 percent sugar and 32 percent fat - and about a third of the fat is saturated, the company has been particularly good at marketing Nutella as a good ingredient for a nutritious breakfast, emphasizing the hazelnuts and milk.

However, health issues were far from the minds of Nutella fans taking part in its 50th anniversary celebrations.

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