Nutella's parent company, Ferrero, changed the recipe for its hazelnut spread. And did so quietly.
A German "consumer-watchdog" group discovered the change by analyzing the nutrition label on the jar, revealing that the quantities of powdered skimmed milk increased from 7.5 percent to 8.7 percent and sugar content rose from 55.9 percent to 56.3 percent -- and the beloved hazelnut spread is lighter in color, too.
The group concluded that the extra powdered milk took the place of cacao -- a kind of change Ferrero would not be legally obligated to disclose.
Ferrero did respond to the reports, admitting the chocolate purveyors did in fact "fine-tune" Nutella's recipe, the kind of "adjustments" brands do regularly to their products.
But, too little too late. Trying to pull a fast one on a loyal customer base like that is a sorry thing to do. And sorry they were when fans took to Twitter to spread the word on Nutella's desecration.
"Are we gonna talk about how Nutella has changed its recipe and now looks and tastes different or??? #notokay" one Twitter user wrote. One unimpressed Nutella fan declared an end to the hazelnut spread altogether. "If the rumors of #Nutella changing their recipe are true, I am boycotting them," the consumer wrote.
Another person tweeted, "As if #Nutella wasn't bad enough yet, there's more milk in it now, more fat, less cacao. & Still palm oil. Choose a different brand, people!" And one disgruntled fan wrote, "Nutella is sweet enough. Why on earth change something that no one has a problem with?"
Other cult-favorite snacks faced unwelcome changes too, such as Swiss chocolate company Toblerone; the company decreased the size of its chocolate triangles due to rising cost of ingredients.
Taking a closer look, Ferrero's recipe adjustment might not be its last. The chocolate company relies on steady supplies of hazelnuts, the essential ingredient in Nutella and Ferrero Rocher products. According to the Denver Channel, hazelnut availability is limited to a select few places, such as Turkey. If the hazelnut supply chain becomes disrupted, production levels could be seriously affected.