The maker of the chocolate and hazelnut spread Nutella acknowledged Monday adjusting its formula following a report by a German consumer group.
The Hamburg Consumer Protection Centre said on its Facebook page that a jar of spread made by the Italian chocolate firm Ferrero now contains 8.7 per cent powdered skim milk, compared to 7.5 per cent previously, based on an analysis of the product label.
Ferrero, via its German subsidiary, said it had made an “adjustment” to the spread as many brands regularly do with their products.
“The quality, safety, sourcing and all the other characteristics of Nutella remain the same,” the company said.
However, the consumer association noted that the colour of the spread was now lighter.
“As the colour of the new Nutella is lighter, we are working on the assumption that skimmed milk powder was added at the expense of cacao,” it said, noting that Ferrero is not required to disclose the amount of cacao in Nutella.
The amount of sugar, which already accounted for half the product, has increased further, according to the association, rising from 55.9 to 56.3 percent.
In a statement to Global News, Ferrero Canada said Nutella sold in Canada will be following the new recipe.
“We have recently carried out a fine-tuning in line with the evolution of consumers’ tastes … From a nutritional point of view, all relevant aspects remain similar.”
Fans of the spread reacted with outrage online, using the hashtag #NutellaGate.
Nutella recently came into the crosshairs of Hungary’s food safety agency, which said jars of the spread sold in Hungary appeared to be “less creamy” than those sold in neighbouring Austria.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm and watchdog, said in September it will give member states €1 million to help improve tests for comparing products to detect differences in quality.
— With files from Jenny Rodrigues