The last two years have given us a lot of food (pun intended) for thought, and honestly, it's been a little difficult to handle it all. Bad news story after bad news story has resulted in my outlook on life becoming pretty melancholic.
As a result of this, I have turned to comfort food to find some sort of solace (as one often does). As the world changes at an alarming rate, one thing that seems to stay relatively constant is the serotonin high you get from chomping down on some form of sugar or fat.
My go to when I'm feeling particularly down? A Nutella sandwich. If I don't have any bread, a spoonful of the good stuff will set me straight, if only for a little while. If there was something that needed to stay the same during these turbulent times, it would be Nutella.
Sadly though, Nutella manufacturer Ferrero announced in a Facebook post earlier this month they were tweaking the iconic formula to include more sugar, more fat and fewer hazelnuts and this hasn't gone over very well.
The announcement was made after an eagle-eyed German consumer watchdog group, known as the Hamburg Consumer Protection Center, first discovered this scandal by analyzing the nutrition label on the Nutella jars. It was then that Nutella took to social media to confess.
On November 9, Nutella USA tweeted: "Our recipe underwent a fine-tuning and continues to deliver the Nutella fans know and love with high quality ingredients". Some Twitter users were so enraged by the news they threatened to boycott Nutella, trying to get the hashtag #BoycottNutella going online.
One such user goes by the handle @HashtagSpiruli, and they said: "So essentially, @NutellaUSA, less hazelnuts and more oil & sugar. You are ruining the product. #BoycottNutella #FAIL #FTL"
If you're curious about the specifics, The Guardian reports the new Nutella now has 56.3 percent sugar instead of the old 55.9 percent. Its milk-to-chocolate ratio has also been altered, with the new product containing a lot more powdered milk.
The change in milk ratio apparently means that the color of the new Nutella is going to be lighter too, but it's unclear though how much less hazelnut is being put in. However, Ferrero insists that the nutritional value is "similar" to the previous version.
In response to the backlash, Nutella USA explained that the "adjustments" were just a couple of teeny-tiny changes that were no big deal really, and it's the kind of thing brands regularly do to their products. Nutella just had the decency to tell you.
The ingredient switch is certainly cheaper for Ferrero. Only until recently, it was never incredibly transparent about how much of each ingredient it puts into each jar of Nutella but now it's out there, things may be changing very quickly.
Grubstreet notes that American Nutella has always been a little different than the varieties of chocolate spread you find in Italy or Europe. The big change is being rolled out primarily in Europe, so Americans may have lucked out for now. Our thoughts and prayers go to those affected.
I strongly believe however that when push comes to shove and you're craving the good stuff, no one will care. When you want Nutella on your toast, you're going to have Nutella on toast.