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Recipe change for Nutella

As the industry continues to push for sugar reduction and reformulation of much loved confectionery products, a change in the recipe of hazelnut-chocolate spread Nutella has caused uproar among consumers.

According to consumer group Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg, the popular chocolate spread now contains 8.7% of skimmed milk powder, compared to 7.5% before. It points out that the product’s colour is lighter, assuming that more milk powder has been added at the expense of cocoa.

While Ferrero does not specify the exact amount of cocoa in each jar of Nutella, whether the contents of the other ingredients such as sugar or palm oil were changed remains unclear.

Citing the nutritional value table, Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg says the sugar content has risen to 56.3% (previously 55.9%), but the fat content has declined slightly to 30.9% (previously 31.8%).

A spokesperson for Ferrero says, “There has been a minor fine-tuning of the Nutella recipe. The content of hazelnuts, cocoa, sugar and palm oil remains unchanged. The fine-tuning consists of substituting whey powder with an equivalent quantity (2.1g/100g total product) of milk powder (from 6.6% to 8.7% of total product).

“This enables us to improve the overall quality of the milk content and to ensure a better consistency of our unique taste over time. That’s all. Our recipe contains seven simple ingredients, with no colourings and no preservatives.”

Industry association Action on Sugar has expressed its concerns, saying, “We are shocked to see Nutella has ramped up the amount of sugar in its already sweet product.”

Whether the uproar from consumers centres on the higher amount of sugar in the product or just the simple fact the company has changed a product they know and love is also unclear, but if it’s the former, then industry efforts to encourage consumers to eat less sugar are definitely having an impact.

It’s not just the changing ingredients in products consumers are noticing, after they were quick to criticise Mondelēz International last year for increasing the gap between the peaks of its Toblerone bars to reduce the weight of 400g and 170g bars to 360g and 150g respectively.

While we’re on the subject of sugar, I’ll be attending the Sugar Reduction Summit in London tomorrow. Follow @confectionprod on for live updates. Now in its third year, the event brings together industry, policymakers, public health professionals and the health and wellness communities, providing an opportunity to discuss impending changes to the regulatory environment and their anticipated impact on the consumption of sugar.

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