Nutella is manufactured by the Italian company Ferrero and was first introduced in 1964, although its first iteration dates to 1963.
Pietro Ferrero owned a bakery in Alba, an Italian town known for the production of hazelnuts. In 1946, he sold the initial 300-kilogram (660 lb) batch of Pasta Gianduja, derived from Gianduja. Originally sold as a solid block, Ferrero started to sell a creamy version in 1951 as Supercrema gianduja.
In 1963, Ferrero’s son Michele Ferrero revamped Supercrema gianduja with the intention of marketing it throughout Europe. Its composition was modified, and it was renamed “Nutella”. The first jar of Nutella left the factory in Alba on April 20, 1964. The product was an instant success and remains widely popular.
The main ingredients of Nutella are sugar and palm oil (greater than 50%). It also contains hazelnut at 13%, cocoa solids, and skimmed milk. In the United States and the United Kingdom, Nutella contains soy products. Nutella is marketed as “hazelnut cream” in many countries. Under Italian law, it cannot be labeled as a “chocolate cream”, as it does not meet minimum cocoa solids concentration criteria. Ferrero uses 25 percent of the global supply of hazelnuts, though not all of this is used exclusively in Nutella.
In November 2017, the company modified the recipe slightly, increasing the sugar and skimmed milk powder content. Since the colour of the product is lighter in tone, the Hamburg Consumer Protection Center estimated that the cocoa content was also reduced. Some news outlets reported that the modification of the recipe led to consumers’ being “outraged” or “going nuts”.
The traditional Piedmont recipe, gianduja, was a mixture containing approximately 71.5% hazelnut paste and 19.5% chocolate. It was developed in Piedmont, Italy, due to a lack of cocoa beans after post-war rationing reduced availability of the raw material.
Sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts (13%), skim milk powder (8.7%) cocoa powder (7.4%), non-fat milk solids, emulsifier (soy lecithin), flavour (vanillin).
Sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk powder, whey powder, lecithin, vanillin.
Ferrero has confirmed that it has changed the recipe of its chocolate and hazelnut spread – sparking a huge backlash among fans of the brand.