Canadians are (hazel) nuts for Nutella, and Longo’s is capitalizing on the phenomenon with a new pop-up kitchen that serves crepes made with the popular chocolate-hazelnut spread.
In development for more than 18 months, the Nutella Crêperie debuted on Thursday at Longo’s Maple Leaf Square location in downtown Toronto. The pop-up crepe kitchen will travel to Longo’s stores across the GTA, making fresh-to-order Nutella crepes.
“We’re always looking for innovative ways to give customers a great in-store experience,” says Longo’s spokesperson Rosanne Longo. “The collaboration was really natural for us given that we’re a family-owned and operated grocery chain and (Nutella parent) Ferrero Canada is a family-owned business with a shared Italian heritage.”
“It’s just a great way to give something unique to our customers and continue a long-standing relationship.”
In addition to being a staple on grocery shelves–Longo’s sells Nutella products ranging in size from 200 grams to 725 grams– Nutella is also featured in brownies and cookies made in the chain’s in-store bakery.
According to Bloomberg, Ferrero Group consumes an estimated 25% of the world’s hazelnuts, the key ingredient in the creamy spread.
Nutella accounts for a whopping 78.7% of sales in Canada’s $72.5 million chocolate spreads category, with 2014 sales of $57.1 million according to Euromonitor. It accounts for 10.6% of the $536.6 million spreads category (which includes chocolate spreads, honey, jams and preserves).
Longo said that sales of the spread are “growing significantly,” attributing its growth to its versatility as both a breakfast food and a snack that can be paired with fruit, crepes, etc.
Longo’s is not the first company to try to capitalize on Nutella’s irresitibility. Iconic Canadian donut chain Tim Horton’s recently introduced a series of Nutella-filled products including donuts and pastry pockets.
Longo’s is supporting the Nutella Crêperie through its various social media channels, using the hashtag #NutellaMoments. Shoppers have the opportunity to win a personalized price pack by posting photos of their personal "Nutella moments."