REVEALED: This is how popular Nutella is in France

There is nothing France loves more than Nutella - at least according to a 2020 review of the most-sold groceries in French shops (apart from wine).

REVEALED: This is how popular Nutella is in France
All self-respecting grocery stores in France sell Nutella. Photo: AFP

Nutella, that sweet chocolate spread French children (and parents) butter on their bread, was not only the most sold product – the brand dominated half of the top 10 ranking.

Claiming the top spot, the Nutella 1kg pot sold €40 million worth in 2020 (the study stopped on June 12th).

The 1kg chocolate pot was so popular that it outranked butter, black coffee and toilet paper (which, in coronavirus times, you know what means).

Fifth, after butter, black coffee and toilet paper, came the 975g pot of Nutella, which sold for a value of €31 million, followed closely by Nutella 750g (€30 million and Nutella 400g (also €30 million).

Then followed more black coffee and milk, eight and ninth respectively, followed by Nutella biscuits, the only non-pot version of the brand on the list.

The study was conducted by Nielsen France, a private company specialising on marketing analysis. 

See the full ranking in the tweet below:


France's longstanding love affair with the chocolate spread Nutella is a faithful kind – so much so that it's tempting to contrast it with that of some French presidents with their wives – that begins, for many, at childhood and lasts for life.

French children smear the hazelnut paste onto their bread in the morning, some dip the tartine in a bowl of chocolate milk. Adults might lay off the topping during the week, but few can resist that occasional tartine de nutella, sometimes toast or drenched in the coffee mug.

And don't forget the absolute classic: crèpes de Nutella:


A couple of years back, a 70 percent Nutella discount at the Intermarché supermarket chain turned into a 'riot', with customers jostling and battling each other to get their hands on the pots.


READ ALSO: What the 'great Nutella riots' tell us about the French

Everyone loves Nutella. Even French President Emmanuel Macron:


Member comments

  1. Obviously the health craze has not arrived here! This stuff is frankly dangerous particularly for children. It rots their precious teeth early and causes terrible obesity. You can see the results everywhere. Fat kids wobbling around followed by their clearly overweight unhealthy parents. It should be banned as if it were a class 1 drug and articles like this singing Nutella’s praise are offensive & unwise.

  2. auitaineguy-I think you need to take a deep breath and look up actual causes of obesity, which is not as simple as eating sugary treats. I don’t know where you are from but the obesity rate in France is a lot lower than the UK or the US.

  3. @aquitaineguy – you left out the fact that Nutella is made with palm oil. Very, very unhealthy – I agree with all you said.

    @David – who cares where the obesity rate is lower. The point is, people ARE obese (for no matter what reason) and vasts amounts of Nutella doesn’t help the situation.

  4. The stuff is referred to in the article as a “chocolate spread”. Errrr, it has 7% cocoa, its main “real” ingredient being hazelnut paste, since it was designed in post-war Italy to replace then non-existent chocolate, because of rationing. But the main ingredient of the stuff is… sugar : 53 % !!!! Plus palm oil. So, basically, it’s very, very, unhealthy (and not very good, if you ask me, but that’s personal) and not politically correct, most hazelnuts being picked in Turkey by young children.

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Everything you need to know about France’s 2022 summer sales

In France, you can only shop the best deals twice a year - during the soldes. Here is everything you need to know about this year's summer sales.

Everything you need to know about France's 2022 summer sales

They happen twice a year – Each year, France has two soldes periods: one in the winter, usually starting January, and another in the summer, usually starting in June.

This summer, the soldes will start on Wednesday, June 22nd in most parts of France and run for four weeks, so even though you might be tempted to go on the first day, keep in mind they’ll be going on for a while.

They are progressive, so items will be continuously marked down as the soldes wear on. If you wait, you are risking that your favourite t-shirt might sell out quickly, but if you’re lucky it might end up marked down even further.

During 2020 and 2021 the government altered sales dates and time periods to help shops cope with closures and lockdowns, but now we’re back to the usual timetable.

This is the only time stores can have “sales” – Technically, the soldes are the only time that stores are allowed to have sales, but the definition of ‘sale’ is important.

Basically, the French government qualifies a ‘solde‘ as the store selling an item for less than they purchased it for.

During the rest of the year discounting is allowed in certain circumstances, so you might see promotions or vente privée (private sales, usually short-term events aimed at regular customers or loyalty-card holders) throughout the year.

In these situations the stores might be selling items for less than their original price, but they are not permitted to sell the item for less than they bought it for. 

Shops are also permitted to have closing-down sales if they are shutting down, or closing temporarily for refurbishment.

They are strictly regulated by the French government – Everything from how long the soldes go for to the consumer protection rules that apply to the very definition of ‘solde’ is regulated by the French government, and the main purpose of this is to protect small independent businesses which might not be able to offer the same level of discounts as the big chains and multi-national companies.

Whether you shop in person or online, the same rules apply.

As a consumer, you still have the same rights as non-sales times regarding broken or malfunctioning items – meaning you ought to be entitled to a refund if the item has not been expressly indicated as faulty. The French term is vice caché, referring to discovering a defect after purchase.

On top of that, stores must be clear about which items are reduced and which are not – and must display the original price on the label as well as the sale price and percentage discount. 

READ MORE: Your consumer rights for French sales

They started in the 19th century – France’s soldes started in the 19th century, alongside the growth of department stores who had the need to regularly renew their stock – and get rid of leftover items.

Simon Mannoury, who founded the first Parisian department store “Petit Saint-Thomas” in 1830, came up with the idea.

Funnily enough, this department store actually is the ancestor for the famous department store Le Bon Marché. His goal was to sell off the previous season’s unsold stock in order to replace it with new products.

In order to do this, Mannoury offered heavy discounts to sell as much merchandise as possible in a limited time.

The soldes start at different times depending on where you live – The sales start at the same time across most of mainland France, but there are exceptions for overseas France and certain départements, usually those along the border.

France’s finance ministry allows for the sales to start at different times based on local economies and tourist seasons. 

For the summer 2022 sales only two parts of metropolitan France have different dates; Alpes-Maritimes sales run from July 6th to August 2nd, while on the island of Corsica they run from July 13th to August 9th.

In France’s overseas territories the sales are held later in the year.

You might qualify for a tax rebate – If you are resident outside the EU, you might be eligible for a tax rebate on your sales purchases.

If you spend at least €100 in one store, then you qualify. You should hold onto your receipt and tell the cashier you plan to use a tax rebate so they can give you the necessary documentation (a duty-free slip).

Then when you are leaving you can find the kiosk at the station or airport dedicated to tax rebates (détaxe) and file prior to leaving France. For more information read HERE