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Nutella Admits It Changed Its Recipe – and People Are Not Happy

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

Few foods can claim a following quite as impassioned as Nutella’s. The chocolate-hazelnut spread is beloved the world over — which explains why many fans are outraged over the company suddenly “fine-tuning” its recipe.

The Hamburg Consumer Protection Center, which first alerted chocoholics to the Nutella news, did some sleuthing and found that, in Europe, the product now contains more skimmed milk powder, apparently at the expense of cocoa. In addition to a slightly lighter color, the change bumps up the sugar content and slightly reduces the fat content.

In the U.S., according to a statement from Nutella released Friday, “the content of hazelnuts, cocoa, sugar and palm oil remains unchanged. The fine-tuning consists of substituting whey powder with an equivalent quantity (2.1g/100g total product) of milk powder (from 6.6% to 8.7% of total product). This enables us to improve the overall quality of the milk content and to ensure a better consistency of our unique taste over time. That’s all. Our recipe contains 7 simple ingredients, with no colors or preservatives. The nutritional values remain practically unchanged.”

The spread’s diehard fans are none too pleased about the change, however, and have taken to social media to say so. Some are upset with reports that it is now sweeter. Others simply feel the company shouldn’t have messed with a good thing.

Only time will tell whether the new recipe will hurt sales. But Nutella appears to be taking the threats seriously: In addition to Friday’s statement, its U.S. Twitter account is replying to directly to users upset by the change.

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Write to Jamie Ducharme at jamie.ducharme@time.com