Beating off the likes of Coca Cola, Sony and even the mighty Ferrari, Nutella takes pole position this year for brand awareness in Italy, according to the Brand Asset Valuator from international advertising firm Young & Rubicam. What is even more remarkable is that the humble chocolate and hazelnut spread is number one for both younger (18-24) and older (45+) age groups in Italy. Nutella came out on top for brand value in terms of differentiation (standing apart from competitors), relevance (brand importance/household penetration), esteem (quality and popularity) and knowledge (consumer awareness). Journalist Gigi Padovani, author of Nutella un mito Italiano, says the spread is timeless, an institution in itself. For Padovani, it embodies the Italian tendency "to envelop everything in something sweet, which also hides any difficulties. This is the essence of Italianness: goodness that spreads. Launched in 1964, Nutella is sold in over 100 countries, netting Ferrero 640 million per year.