As a rule, I no longer let myself buy Nutella. One spoonful turns into three, and before a week has passed, I’m rinsing out the plastic jar for the recycling bin. But as we all know rules can be broken, especially when it is for an important cause like research for a food blog. You can imagine my excitement when JIF came out with a product similar to Nutella. Somehow it seems like less of an indulgence to eat an “American” product straight out of the jar. The fancy “European” product must be richer, fattier, and overall worse for the consumer. On the contrary, Nutella is a better choice nutritionally. The first indication is on the front label. JIF’s product is described as “Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread” while Nutella is a “Hazelnut Spread with Skim Milk and Cocoa”. I couldn’t believe my eyes- skim milk! Nutella also has 3 grams less fat, 30 fewer calories, half the sodium, and extra protein. So how do they compare flavor-wise?
Before I even glanced at the nutrition information, I conducted a blind taste test. From the first bite, I knew which was the real deal. I found the Nutella to be better overall in both texture and flavor. It was silkier, easier to spread, sweeter yet saltier, and had a more balanced ratio of hazelnut to chocolate. I took it one step further and mixed each product with peanut butter. JIF knows what they’re doing when it comes to peanut butter and I anticipated that the more chocolaty “Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread” would mesh better with PB. Once again, the JIF product didn’t measure up. In fact, I couldn’t finish the JIF sample. The mediocre taste and odd texture just wasn’t worth the extra 30 calories. Nutella wins again!
One benefit of the JIF chocolate flavored hazelnut spread is the packaging; I prefer the glass jar. However, you can’t mess with the perfection inside the plastic. If I ever let myself purchase a chocolate hazelnut spread again, it will definitely be Nutella.
Contributing Author and Editor: