“die Nutella” vs. “das Nutella”
Although Nutella is not a German product, many of my compatriots have an almost cult-like devotion to the spread. This was particularly obvious when Ferrero slightly changed the recipe for its chocolate cream in 2017—and was met with days of shitstorms.
While Nutella was meant to create a feeling of harmony at the breakfast table, it has a long tradition of causing emotional fights about the true gender of the product. If you are learning German, you will quickly find out that genders seem to be pure lottery with very few general rules that apply. However, there is a vague consensus that abstract brand have a tendency to be neuter—you say “das Beck’s”, “das Snickers”, “das Tabasco” and so on. On the other hand, one might argue that the Italian ending “ella” suggests a female gender.
So, what about asking the spread’s manufacturer himself? Well, Ferrero even issued an official statement—which ends with “Decide for yourself which article you put before Nutella.” So the company continues to accept that marriages regularly break up over gender disputes caused by them. Obviously, this decades-old controversy is quite useful from a marketing point of view. In fact, this is proven by the sheer existence of this article.