What To Look For When Choosing Your Go-To Hazelnut Spread

Of all the nut spreads available these days, hazelnut spread is one of the most popular. Its sweet, rich flavor and smooth texture make it a favorite for use in everything from chocolate hazelnut French toast to an indulgent ice cream sundae. While Nutella is the best-known brand in this category of condiment, it doesn't have to be your only option. We recommend exploring the world of hazelnut spreads and choosing one that best suits your palate, dietary preferences, and shopping habits.

When considering your hazelnut spread options, it's important to think about what you value most. Do you want it to include or exclude certain ingredients? Perhaps you have a sensitivity to certain oils and want to make sure those are not used in your choice of spread, or maybe you prefer that the hazelnuts are toasted before they're added. The sourcing and production approach may also impact your decision. Some people prefer spreads that come directly from Italy, while others may seek a spread that uses Fair Trade cocoa. All of these are factors that can impact your long-term enjoyment of your hazelnut spread and ones that you should pay attention to when shopping.

How to spot the differences

Answers to all of the above can be found by looking closely at the packaging of any given hazelnut spread. Check the label on the back of a container to see what ingredients are included, as well as a rough idea of how much of each is used since ingredients must be listed in order of the amount added from most to least. For example, the first three ingredients listed on Nutella's label are sugar, palm oil, and hazelnuts. Some people may be averse to palm oil or prefer that hazelnuts be the primary ingredient in their spread, in which case they should explore other options.

The packaging will also have indicators to help you determine if the spread aligns with your preferred sourcing and production methods. On the back label, alongside the ingredients, you will find information about where the product is made. Meanwhile, logos disclosing whether the spread has special standards for its production are typically placed on the front of the package. For example, Nocciolata proudly announces its organic and gluten-free traits at the very top of its front-facing label.

At the end of the day, which hazelnut spread is the right fit truly comes down to a matter of preference. Empower yourself by understanding the information communicated to you and by knowing your individual tastes and priorities. There are dozens of choices out there, so no matter what you like, you're sure to find the one for you.