Update posted 7:53p.m. EST on May 21, 2013
World Nutella Day, the unofficial international holiday created by fans to celebrate their love of the hazelnut-chocolate spread, won’t be happening next year. According to Gawker, the annual celebration of all things Nutella was ordered to cease and desist by its manufacturer Ferrero. Started in 2007 by Nutella fan Sara Russo, the event took place every Feb. 5th.
Rosso, an American blogger living in Italy, told the Huffington Post that she was “stunned” by the cease-and-desist. She announced the news on her blog, Nutelladay.com, late last week:
“On May 25, 2013, I’ll be darkening the World Nutella Day site, nutelladay.com, and all social media presence (Facebook, Twitter), in compliance with a cease-and-desist I received from lawyers representing Ferrero, SpA (makers of Nutella).”
Since its founding, World Nutella Day has soared in popularity. Its Facebook page has nearly 40,000 “likes,” and the event has more than 6,500 Twitter followers. Both accounts are managed by Rosso and fellow blogger Michelle Fabio.
(MORE: Nutella Truck’s Breakfast Tour Promotes a Not So Healthy Breakfast)
Rosso admitted that the annual event, World Nutella Day site, nutelladay.com and social media accounts were created without the manufacturer’s permission, the Huffington Post noted. But in her announcement, Rosso said that over the years she has “always tried to collaborate and work together in the spirit and goodwill of a fan-run celebration” of the spread, and has even had “contact and positive experiences with several employees of Ferrero, SpA., and with their public relations and brand strategy consultants.”
Although the lights might be out for the unofficial holiday, Gawker points out that it’s unlikely that “the Cult of Nutella” will be deterred from the Italian company’s rebuff. Just last month, thieves in Germany made off with more than five tons of Nutella. Students at New York’s Columbia University are so addicted to it that they consume $500 worth of the spread per week, according to school officials.
There’s no word from Ferrero as to whether it’ll adopt the annual event as an official marketing campaign for its brand. But one thing’s for sure: Nutella lovers aren’t pleased about the canceled celebration. They’ve taken to the World Nutella Day Facebook page to express their outrage.
Update: According to a report by Businessweek, Ferrero has reversed its decision to halt World Nutella Day and will allow Sara Russo’s website and Facebook fan page to continue operating. Phew.