Nutella faces back­lash over changes to recipe

The Guardian Weekly - - Diversions - Re­becca Smithers

It’s the gloopy choco­late and hazel­nut spread that has be­come a world­wide food phe­nom­e­non, whether slathered on toast or eaten straight from the jar by the spoon­ful.

But afi­ciona­dos of Nutella are up in arms af­ter dis­cov­er­ing that the recipe has been se­cretly changed, with more sugar and fat – but fewer hazel­nuts.

Fer­rero, Nutella’s Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer, ad­mit­ted it had car­ried out “fine-tun­ing” but in­sisted the nu­tri­tional value of the new ver­sion was sim­i­lar to its pre­de­ces­sor.

The recipe tweaks had been spot­ted by the ea­gle-eyed Ger­man con­sumer group Ham­burg Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Cen­tre and re­vealed on its Face­book page. It claimed the new recipe has in­creased the con­tent of pow­dered skimmed milk from 7.5% to 8.7%, and sugar from 55.9% to 56.3%.

In a state­ment Fer­rero con­firmed the changes had been made but in­sisted that “the qual­ity … and all other as­pects of Nutella re­main the same”.

“We are shocked to see Nutella has ramped up the amount of sugar in its al­ready sweet prod­uct,” said Kawther Hashem, nu­tri­tion­ist at Ac­tion on Sugar.

Choco­late fans can be un­set­tled by tweaks to their favourite prod­ucts. In Novem­ber last year the con­fec­tionery gi­ant Mon­delēz sparked up­roar by chang­ing the shape of the pop­u­lar Toblerone bar, a move fans de­scribed as “stupid”, “ridicu­lous” and “just plain dumb”.

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