Ferrero—the maker of Nutella, those hazelnutty wells of canned ambrosia—is under fire after allegations that they altered their ingredients without informing their consumers. As it turns out, the new recipe has more sugar and, according to the Guardian, fewer hazelnuts.
On November 2, German consumer group, Hamburg Consumer Protection Centre, published the information on their Facebook page. They pointed out that Ferrero tampered with Nutella’s recipe for the first time in years. The differences? The percentage of milk powder had increased from 7.5% to 8.7%. Cocoa moved further down in the list of ingredients. Sugar content increased from 55.9% to 56.3%, while fat content decreased from 31.8% to 30.9%. These changes may feel infinitesimal, and maybe they are. But the post did highlight the apparent change in hue from the old Nutella to the new. The new mixture appears lighter. Is a decreased amount of cocoa to blame?
This debacle has proved people don’t take their Nutella lightly—and they don’t want it a shade lighter, either. The Centre’s original post has garnered 527 Facebook shares since its posting and a quick scroll through #NutellaGate on Twitter reveals more than a few concerned customers.
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Since the backlash began, Ferrero responded through their German division, acknowledging that yes, they did tweak the recipe, but “the quality, the sourcing, and all other aspects of Nutella ingredients remain the same.” These allegations come hot on the heels of claims that the Nutella sold in Eastern Europe is of lesser quality. The recipe for Nutella actually differs by country, so the Nutella you eat in Italy is not the same, proportionally, as the Nutella we eat here in the U.S. It remains to be seen whether these tweaks affect our stateside Nutella.
In the meantime, make some homemade Nutella, instead, and forget about the bottled stuff. Take control and pick the proportions as you see fit. Amp up the cocoa and scale down the sugar. Or do the opposite. Be the master of your own Nutella destiny.