Discover Benelux | Food & Drink | A Taste of the Netherlands
T W I C E T H E C H O C O L AT E , T W I C E T H E F U N
Better together TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN | PHOTOS: DUO PENOTTI
The Dutch are quite fond of putting chocolate on their bread for breakfast. The famous ‘hagelslag’ are a phenomenon and chocolate spreads are a real staple. One of the Netherlands’ most ubiquitous chocolate hazelnut spread brands is Duo Penotti: a brand invented by a family company based in the Dutch city Roosendaal, close to the Belgian border. As its name implies, the spread is presented in glass jars and consists of two flavours that appear side by side in a stripy manner, a unique product concept: two colours, two flavours and six stripes in one jar. More than just a novelty, Duo Penotti’s brand awareness is enormous, due to being the first to present a spread in this particular way and an ironclad marketing campaign that spawned television commercials and a slogan that imprinted themselves on the Dutch collective memory. It is not an exaggeration to say almost everyone in the Netherlands has had Duo Penotti on their bread in the morning at least once. A feat that takes a lot of hard work and quite a history, and in this case, it all started back in the early 1970s. It 28 | Issue 50 | February 2018
was during the 80s when founder Marcel Peeters came up with the novel idea of combining the two and even though the machinery at the time was not equipped to fill a jar with two different flavours, the Peeters family customised the equipment, making the swirly spread possible. The name ‘Duo Penotti’ was created as a nod to the family name (hence the ‘Pe’ in ‘Penotti’) and as a reference to the Italian word for hazelnut; ‘nocciole’, which is one of the main ingredients of Peeters’ chocolate spread that comes in jars ranging from 225 to 750 grams. A brand was born and though the presentation of the product itself was unique and iconic, it was the marketing campaign that really made Duo Penotti the nation’s favourite chocolate hazelnut spread. The slogan/tune ‘Duo Penotti, twee kleuren in een potti’ was a genuine earworm as it rhymes perfectly and the melody is simple yet genius. Commercial director Daniel Peeters of Duo Penotti starts to laugh at the mention of the slogan. “When we have somebody over for a job interview, we sometimes start off by asking if they can sing the tune. They always can.” Equally famous: their television commercials from
the 90s where two boys share oversized pants and sing the Duo Penotti song. It was awarded with the ‘Golden Effie’, the hottest accolade in advertising for the most effective advertising campaign. As sons of founder Marcel Peeters, who to this day is the CEO, Daniel and his brother Sel have always been involved with the company, knowing the brand through and through. Following on from the success of Duo Penotti the company launched a totally innovative range of indulgent ‘speculoos’ cookie spreads made with real original Belgian cookies. Daniel: “We took quite some steps to up the quality of our product even more. To create the best-tasting chocolate spreads Penotti uses the finest, partly sustainably sourced, ingredients: organic milk, UTZ certified cocoa and lots of nuts (hazelnuts, almonds). Moreover all spreads are GMO free and contain no colours, preservatives, or artificial flavours. Penotti has spread from being a local to a global success story and is present in
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.