Wood chips, sugar & hazelnuts

It was recently the 50th birthday of that favourite chocolate spread we sometimes convince ourselves is ok to eat between two piece of bread. Nutella.

Nutella Jar

What a lot of people don’t realise is that Nutella is what it is because they couldn’t afford to make it the way they wanted to. Originally Nutella was a pure chocolate spread, but during the post WW2 era, a time of heavy rationing in Italy, they bulked up the ingredients with hazelnuts. They did this because hazelnuts were plentiful in the local area and much cheaper than cocoa per kilogram. The presence of mind to turn to the woodchips, in this case hazelnuts, and remarket the brand was very clever indeed. The branding was adapted to talk up the nut credentials and make people believe it was actually a hazelnut spread.

In fact it only has 13% hazelnuts and a whopping 52% sugar by volume – ironically about the same amount as the white label on the jar. While I’ll leave the moral discussion on the marketing of Nutella for another blog post, the question it poses for all of us is this:

How do we turn necessary cost cuts or lack of availability of inputs into brand advantage?


The 55 cent courier

Here’s a tip to save costs while bootstrapping a business. It’s a 55c courier service with guaranteed overnight delivery. Yep – it’s pretty amazing. They have drop off locations on most streets in convenient little red boxes See photo below). They have all sorts of packaging formats from enveloped to special DVD boxes. They also deliver direct to the door of your desired destination. Just awesome value. They’re called Australia post.


So why would any entrepreneur waste their most valuable asset (time) driving around to drop stuff off, or spend a ridiculous amount of money on a same day courier to deliver something which can most certainly wait a day, is beyond me.