World Nutella Day Celebrates The Hazelnut Spread; Plus Nutrition Facts Compared To Peanut Butter And Chocolate Frosting

Nutella lovers across the globe can raise a jar in celebration for the eighth World Nutella Day. Feb. 5 is only a heartbeat away from Valentine’s Day, a month dedicated to all things chocolaty and heart-shaped. Nutella has become increasingly popular, but its nutrition claims came into question a few years ago, ending in a lawsuit. So, is it more akin to a jar of peanut butter or chocolate frosting?

One measly tablespoon (tbsp.) of Nutella will cost you 100 calories. You’d need to either walk for 28 minutes or cycle for 15 in order to burn that spoonful of a treat. That sounds like a treat, but according to Nutella-maker Ferrero USA Inc., it was being advertised as a “healthy part of a balanced breakfast.” A lawsuit was filed soon after a mother realized she was feeding her daughter 21 grams (g) of sugar, 200 calories, and 11g of fat for breakfast. In 2012, the company settled with a $3.05 million suit and agreed to remove the health and nutrition claims.

The company was holding onto hazelnuts to support their health claim. But how did they even get into the mix to begin with? In 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte tried to cut out British trade in order to win the Napoleonic wars, but it resorted in a catastrophic chocolate shortage. The prices of chocolate skyrocketed so chocolatiers in Turin, Italy became resourceful in order to save their business and turn a profit by using chopped hazelnuts as filler.  A delicious paste named “gianduia” was born out of the wreckage.

Fast forward to the World War II, a time when Europe went into rationing thanks to infamous Adolf Hitler. Italian pastry maker Piertro Ferrero learned from the past and turned to cutting his chocolate with hazelnut. As popularity over the paste grew, he renamed the concoction “Nutella” in 1964. Ferrero now sells a jar of Nutella every 2.5 seconds and own 25 percent of the world’s hazelnuts — that’s a lot of Nutella.

So, when putting Nutella up against its main spreadable competitors, peanut butter and chocolate frosting, how does it fair?

Nutella Vs. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Frosting:

Nutella Nutella nutrition label. Photo courtesy of Ferrero USA, Inc.

2 tbsp. of Nutella: 

200 calories, 11g of fat (3.5g of that being saturated fat), 21g of sugar, 22g of carbs, 3g of protein.

Chocolate Frosting Betty Crocker chocolate frosting nutrition label. Photo courtesy of Betty Crocker

2 tbsp. of Chocolate Frosting:

130 calories, 5g of fat (1.5 of that being saturated fat), 18g of sugar, 21g of carbs.

Peanut Butter Skippy peanut butter nutrition label. Photo courtesy of Skippy

2 tbsp. of Peanut Butter:

190 calories, 17g of fat (3.5g of that being saturated fat), 3g of sugar, 7g of carbs, 7g of protein. 

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