We tasted chocolate-hazelnut spreads until our teeth hurt to determine some of the best (and worst) Nutella substitutes.
Everyone knows that Nutella, which is approximately a bajllion calories a spoonful, is delicious. But sometimes you’re in a situation where you need an alternative. Maybe you want an option that contains more natural ingredients, maybe you want to support a small business instead of Nutella manufacturer Ferrero, or maybe you just feel like branching out a bit. It’s your life, not ours.
And so, the NewsFeed team sat down and taste tested eight alternatives — including Hershey’s newly-released “chocolate with hazelnut” spread. We rated each one on a scale from one to five in the following categories: chocolatey flavor, nutty flavor and comparability to Nutella. Then we employed a very scientific methodology that combined each of these factors to ultimately produce the following ranking.
Please note: Nutella is still ultimately number one. Nutella is always number one. Respect.
This self-described “organic hazelnut spread with cocoa and milk” won our hearts because it boasts a perfect blend of chocolatey and nutty flavors. And of all the spreads, this one tastes the most like Nutella. The consistency is a bit thinner and creamier than Nutella, but otherwise, this is a deliciously safe bet. It’s available in a pretty wide variety of stores so if you’re ever out shopping and can’t find Nutella, keep your eyes peeled for this exellent alternative.
2. Barefoot and Chocolate
This very sweet, very creamy spread is heavy on the nutty flavor but packs a pretty chocolatey punch too. It’s Fair Trade Certified — not that you can really discern that from tasting it. Like Nocciolata, this one does taste quite a bit like the classic Nutella, but with more natural ingredients. It still contains plenty of fat and sugar, though — you know, probably why it tastes so good. It’s available online and in select stores.
3. Natural ChocoDream
Another solid alternative to Nutella, this one has a decent chocolate-to-hazelnut flavor ratio. One TIME editor detected a bit of a strange aftertaste, but other than that, this is a safe bet. It’s a bit thicker and less creamy than the options above, so if that’s the texture you prefer, try this one. Available at stores nationwide and online.
So, Hershey’s “chocolate with hazelnut” spread is delicious, but it’s very heavy on the chocolate flavor and very light on the nuttiness. It essentially tastes like a melted Hershey’s bar with just a very, very subtle hint of hazelnut. “Yaaaasssss,” one TIME editor exclaimed as he tasted it, deeming it “phenomenal.” Just keep in mind that this will not serve you well if you’re looking for a spot-on Nutella knockoff. It’s simply not nutty enough. (Available now at stores nationwide.)
5. Hey, Hey Hazelnut!
If you’re a fan of dark chocolate, this one’s for you. It’s got a rich cocoa flavor but not doesn’t offer much on the nutty end of the spectrum. It’s a nice alternative to some of the super-sweet, super-milk chocolatey options, but it’s also on the pricier side at $13 for a jar. If you decide it’s worth it, it’s available online here.
This one is a chocolate hazelnut butter, so it has a very, very strong nutty flavor and barely any chocolatey flavor. It’s definitely a less sugary alternative to Nutella, but by no means a substitute. If you’re looking for something very nutty, with a thick texture and just a hint of sweetness, give it a shot. But don’t expect to be at all reminded of Nutella. It’s available online and in select stores.
This chocolate hazelnut butter is a sugar-free vegan option. But alas, as one NewsFeed staffer said, “It tastes like straight-up dirt.” Another taste-tester got hints of “bad honey.” Kudos to its manufacturer for attempting a healthier, vegan product — but we all agreed: this was simply not a winner. If you don’t trust us (but seriously, trust us) and want to find out for yourself, it’s available online.
Okay. So. This option is sugar-free, which is great for health reasons and what not, but the taste is extremely, dreadfully, wildly unfortunate. “It tastes like the inside of a New England antique store. Like mothballs,” one NewsFeed writer said upon tasting it. “It tastes like a grandma’s butthole,” added another with a grimace. So if you’re looking for a sugar-free snack, save yourself the pain and just munch on some plain celery instead. (Again, if you don’t trust us, it’s available online.)
So there you have it: the official ranking of Nutella alternatives, from most tasty to most disappointing. Happy snacking!