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As sales of Nutella continue to edge higher, one company is betting on food "bars" devoted to selling creations made from the popular chocolate hazelnut spread.
This week, Italian food market Eataly opened its first Nutella bar in New York City, after an earlier pop-up version proved successful. The new restaurant sells items such as crepes, croissants, tarts, gelatos and coffee drinks made or filled with the spread, which is made by Italian company Ferrero.
Eataly is planning to expand the concept further beyond its first Big Apple location.
"Our idea is more or less everywhere where we are going to open up a new Eataly in the world to put a Nutella bar," said Dino Borri, Eataly's head buyer. Currently it has Nutella bars in Sao Paolo, Chicago, Dubai and Milan.
The growing taste for the sweet confection has sent Ferrero in search of hazelnuts, which have become increasingly scarce and pricey.
The world's voracious appetite for Nutella is reflected in how quickly it tends to move off the shelves—and consumers' willingness to slather it over pancakes, toast, waffles and just about everything else. Entire Interent sites are devoted to explaining how to make the spread at home, as well as dozens of ways to prepare it in other dishes.
Nutella sales in the U.S. rose 5.2 percent to 2014 from the year before, according to market research firm Euromonitor.