Nutella's New Recipe Skimps on This (Key!) Ingredient

November  8, 2017

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.

Where do you stand in #Nutellagate? Share your stance in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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    Melinda Wightman Gottlieb
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    Chloe Bomberger
Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


Melinda W. November 12, 2017
I have always found Nutella to be flavorless; just not chocolatey enough. I have been told that the Italian version is more flavorful. Making your own seems like a good way to go.
Sophia R. November 9, 2017
I am a chocolate sommelier and I never even consider Nutella. The ingredients are not well sourced and quite frankly the taste fails for me no matter what they do with their percentages. I love Amedei Toscana Crema Olive Oil. Made in Tuscany with only 5 ingredients it is heaven in a jar! Hazelnut, extra virgin olive oil, cocoa mass, cocoa and vanilla. I sell out every time I have a pop up shop at $17 a jar. Or as the author states, make your own. But may I add that you can also change the taste of your homemade spread by the origin of your cacao. Like wine or coffee, the taste of your chocolate spread will change from the origin of your cacao. Try to find smaller craft bean-bar-makers who have relationships with the cacao farmer and pay a living wage. An example of where to buy is Askinosie, or Map Chocolate. Some cacao has spicy notes and others more nutty and caramel notes. Also citrus notes too.
Chloe B. November 9, 2017
How does one become a chocolate sommelier? My dream job exists after all!
BerryBaby November 9, 2017
I know a lot of people love it but I've never have been a fan. It's just too sweet for me and now it's probably even sweeter. I'll stick with plain nut butter.