Cronut Creator Attempts to Whip Up Another Social Media Juggernaut Happy #NutellaPancakeDay.

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Nutella | Twitter

The creator of Cronuts is trying to harness the power of social media yet again – this time, with the help of Nutella.

Dominique Ansel teamed up with Nutella today to bring the mostly British tradition of feasting on pancakes on Shrove Tuesday to New York City. The pastry chef and creator of the Cronut is handing out free Nutella Pancake Cones on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

With Ansel's history of heavily-hyped dessert mashups, from the Cronut, to the Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shot, to the Waffogato, Entrepreneur decided that it was essential we check out the giveaway.

Free Nutella Pancake Cones at Grand Central
Image credit: Kate Taylor

Nutella and Ansel have clearly learned from past social media culinary hits. The official hashtag, "#NutellaPancakeDay" was prominently displayed. There was a space off to the side to pose with cutouts of Nutella and other food items. After waiting in line for a pancake cone, everyone had the chance to take a photo with Ansel.

Related: Dunkin' Makes Croissant Donuts a Permanent Menu Item, Adds Boston Kreme Version

The overwhelming emphasis on social media promotion rubbed some Nutella lovers the wrong way.

"We don't have to take a picture with [Dominique Ansel], do we?" whined one woman in line behind me, annoyed by having to wait for each person to pose for a picture with the chef.

Ansel has turned churning out cute pastries that look great on Instagram and Twitter into an art form. Anything he is associated with is essentially social media catnip, especially for the younger foodie crowd. With Nutella as one of the most beloved brands in food, for the two to partner makes sense.

Still, even with – or perhaps because of – the social media emphasis of #NutellaPancakeTuesday, the one-day giveaway lacked the huge online explosion or the in-person presence that the Cronut demanded, and continues to demand. Maybe it was the more simplistic nature of the treat or an unwillingness to venture out on a cold day in New York City, but the frenetic energy the Cronut generates wasn't quite there.

The crowd waiting for free Nutella Pancake Cones at Grand Central
Image credit: Kate Taylor

Organizers were prepared for a line that would fill the enormous hall in Grand Central. While there was always a crowd, the line never got close to Cronut levels while I was there. For comparison, last year I arrived outside of Dominque Ansel bakery at 5 a.m. to get a Cronut when the bakery opened at 8 a.m. Today, I arrived at Grand Central at 11 a.m., and had two tiny pancake cones in my hand by 11:20 a.m.

Dominque Ansel may have made a business out of selling pastries for the social media era – but none are likely to rival the treat that started it all, the Cronut.

Related: Hello, 'Waffogato': Has the Cronut-Creator Gone Too Far for PR?

Wavy Line
Kate Taylor


Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Business News

'I'm Not a Very Good Businessman': Kevin Costner Is Risking a Ton of His Own Money on New Project

The "Yellowstone" star discussed how he bankrolled his new epic movies — and his accountant isn't happy.


The Rise of Nano-Influencers: How the Smallest Voices are Making the Biggest Impact

The bigger an influencer is, the more beneficial it is for a brand to collaborate with them, right? Not necessarily.

Business News

'I Am Just Floored': Woman Discovers She Won $1 Million Lottery Prize While Checking Her Email at Work

Initially, she thought the email was a scam, but went to lottery headquarters and walked away with a six-figure check after taxes.

Business News

Woman Goes Viral For Brow-Raising Email Signature About Working Moms: 'Everyone Is Feeling This'

The email signature was created in response to pressure to answer emails within 24 hours.

Science & Technology

How AI Is Transforming the Accounting Industry — and What the Future Will Look Like

It's time to harness the power of AI and transform bookkeeping.


Which Hiring Strategy Is Right for Your Startup? My Experience Says This One

Startup businesses face a unique environment when it comes to adding the talent it needs during their earliest stages of operations, and every hiring decision is critically important to get right the first time.