Nutella in Japan

In Japan, Nutella ヌテラ is quite hard to find and sold in tiny pots at a prohibitive cost. It's quite rare to run into Nutella in a konbini, but in major cities supermarkets, it can be found on 'world food' shelves. In Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and such, Nutella addicts have their specific shop where they can go spend some hundreds of Yens from time to time, to get their dose.

Nutella has this advantage of tasting the same in Japan and in western countries. I don't know if the plant is located directly in Japan, but the Japanese version is still very expensive: usually it costs between ¥400 and 450 for a 220-grams pot (see picture). This is roughly the equivalent of our standard 800g pot price. In Japan, the kilogram price of Nutella is four times more expensive!

Among all Nutella eaters in the world, French people are the biggest consumers of the famous chocolate hazelnut spread. With 84,000 tons, or 26% of the annual world production, the Frenchies are ahead of Germans and Italians. Every second, 2.7 kilograms of Nutella are eaten in France, that is 230 tons per day. The Japanese are clearly very far behind.

In the japanese blog Penglaiport which talks about one of my french blog posts, the author pauses for a moment on Nutella. She explains to her readers that this is a 'very famous chocolate hazelnut cream [...] in their supermarkets which sell extra-large format'. In the comments section, Japanese readers react:

  • "Nutella is delicious! I ate some when I went to Europe, but if you eat too much, it makes you fat. And there's a toxic ingredient in it." (she is probably referring to palm oil)
  • "When I go to France, I eat lots of bread on which I spread Nutella."
  • "I love chocolate hazelnut cream."
  • "It sparked my curiosity for Nutella. Can you buy it in classic supermarkets?"
  • "While many are allergic to nuts, few are allergic to hazelnuts, try it because occasionally there are discounts on the price. [...] Looks like texture and taste of chocolate ganache."
  • "Nutella. I'll look for it!"
  • "Nutella can be found at Ito Yokado (a famous supermarket chain in Japan) but it's quite expensive."
  • "Nutella tastes great. I thought it was Italian (that's true) but you can find it anywhere in the world."
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Posted by Gael
Editor in chief
Gael is founder and responsible for Kanpai's publication. In love with Japanese culture, he travels to Japan regularly since 2003 and shares his information and tips.
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