Kraft Heinz throws a bear-shaped wrench into World Nutella Day

Kraft Heinz Canada is hijacking World Nutella Day—which it is coyly describing only as “the day people around the world celebrate their love of hazelnut spread”—to promote its new rival to the beloved Ferrero brand.

In the latest in what has become a steady stream of attention-getting marketing stunts across its portfolio, the packaged foods giant on Monday announced the launch of a new Vancouver “food delivery service” called Ubear. Unlike Uber Eats or DoorDash, it will deliver just one product: Kraft Hazelnut Spread.

Described by Kraft as “the first delivery service run by bears,” Ubear will see Kraft Peanut Butter’s bear mascots Crunchy and Smoothie delivering free jars of the spread throughout the city. Vancouver residents can visit to register for a chance to have the bear mascots deliver their free jar, and get delivery updates on its Instagram and Twitter pages.

Kraft has made Nutella a priority target in the marketing for its new spread. That includes last year’s campaign in which it went to Italy, the birthplace of Nutella, to introduce its product to skeptical Italians (who were, of course, astonished by how good it was) and later introduced it to actual Canadian-Italian nonnas.

With more than $3 billion in annual global sales, Nutella is basically synonymous with the hazelnut spread category. But in a play that’s comparable to non-NFL sponsors hijacking the Super Bowl by using euphemisms like “the big game,” the Kraft website describes World Nutella Day as World Hazelnut Day.

“Since the summer of 2020 we’ve been challenging Canadians to test out the new Kraft Hazelnut Spread, made without palm oil and low in saturated fat, against other hazelnut spreads,” said Daniel Gotlib, associate director, brand building and innovation for Kraft Heinz Canada, in a release.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive… That’s why we’re bringing free Kraft Hazelnut Spread to Vancouver residents, so they can try it for themselves, on a day they may typically indulge in other hazelnut spreads.”

Nutella’s marketing team might not like seeing what is supposed to their brand’s day to shine co-opted by an upstart, but they might have no choice but to grin and bear it. Oh, and according to the website, Feb. 5 is also National Shower with a Friend Day. Over to you, P&G.


Chris Powell