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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: March 12, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    They said no good would come of Kraft’s takeover of Cadbury

    Laura Slattery

    Philadelphia and Cadbury…. they go together like chocolate and cheese

    And they were right. Here it is, the union between Kraft’s Philadelphia cream cheese brand and Cadbury milk chocolate, essentially Kraft’s attempt to take on the reigning king of spreads, Nutella. Good luck with that. Toddlers and Nutella are not to be kept apart, and not even the mighty Kraft and the comic talents of Jennifer Saunders, who is fronting its reverse-psychology marketing campaign, can alter that. Surely.

    Chocolate cheesecake lovers will quibble, but they will be wrong. The combination of hazelnut and chocolate is so obviously superior to a cream cheese / milk chocolate mash-up, that I suspect Pietro Ferrero will be turning in his grave at Kraft’s latest product launch. Ferrero, according to the company’s website, “founded” what later became known as Nutella in a backroom of a pastry shop in Alba, Northern Italy, in 1944. It was, surprisingly, an austerity foodstuff. War had made chocolate, among other luxury items, expensive and difficult to obtain, so Ferrero used locally grown hazelnuts to make alternative spreads.  ”Nutella, spread on bread, has become an essential element to the breakfast ritual,” the company claims, not unreasonably. (I prefer it rolled in the folds of pancakes myself.)

    Ferrero, which also makes Tic Tacs, Kinder products and (naturally) Ferrero Rocher, is a privately held company that does okay for itself, though it lost one of its joint chief executives (Pietro Ferrero, grandson of the founder) when he died cycling while working on a corporate social responsibility initiative last year. The acquisition-shy family firm did ponder making a counter-offer for Cadbury, but stepped back, wary of the debt, leaving it to be devoured by Kraft and its spread-ambitions. The first of the ads is genuinely funny thanks to Saunders, but I can see plenty of shoppers simply agreeing with her ad persona’s ”Choccy Philly / don’t be silly” line and failing, like her, to be converted against the odds. And only a fool would bet against the wartime genius that is Nutella.

    • JOD says:

      I always thought Nutella was chocolate that’s gas. Amazing what can be done when circumstances are adverse needs must etc.

    • The bald baker says:

      Nothing will shift Nutella off our breakfast table, especially now I know it’s produced by a private company.

    • Paul Kenny says:

      Dear Laura,

      Not so sure you are right. Two well informed taste gurus (including my wife) say it is unbelievable, against their initial instincts. Maybe the ads have got it spot on.


    • JOD says:

      Got it yesterday. Ate half the pot off the spoon. Addictive not the word. Totally gorgeous. You could use it on ice cream or pancakes or icing on a cake or just fall into it like Garfield into a lasagne sure that’s meat and cheese which the Decameron says not to eat if you’re Jewish but milk is cheese and chocolate both so it isn’t so disgusting at all. In fact it’s the opposite of disgusting its so nice its dangerous. My waistline won’t thank you for this nor will my cardiologist.

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