As Americans Eat More Nutella, Hazelnut Prices Soar

A pot of Nutella is presented in a shop window next to pills reading "flat belly" in Italian on May 17, 2014 in Alba, northern Italy, during the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut spread made by Ferrero. –AFP/GETTY

Americans love Nutella. It’s not hard to understand why: The cocoa and hazelnut spread tastes delicious on toast, fruit, waffles, pancakes, straight out of the jar… you get the picture.

But maybe we love it a little too much, as US consumption of it has skyrocketed along with demand for hazelnuts — and their cost.

According to The Guardian, the price of hazelnuts is up 60 percent this year due to bad weather that devastated crops in Turkey, the world’s biggest producer of the tree nut. Bloomberg Businessweek reports worldwide sales of Nutella increased 6.4 percent, to $2.46 billion last year. US Nutella sales were up 5.9 percent. The Turkish hazelnut industry said this year’s harvest could be down to 540,000 tons, against pre-frost expectations of up to 800,000 tons.


Don’t worry too much, though. While the Turkish blight could cloud some confectioners’ business — and you might have to shell out more for your Nutella — Ferrero, the Italian-based company that makes Ferrero Rocher and Nutella, should be okay. Last month, they bought Turkish hazelnut supplier Oltan Group to help protect their supply. Ferrero stated in a press release that Oltan Group “is the worldwide leading operator in the procurement, processing and marketing of hazelnuts.’’

Hazelnuts aren’t the only food with soaring prices. The cost of cocoa has climbed 9 percent this year, to levels not reached since 2011 — in part because we are eating so much of it. Worldwide consumption of cocoa increased by 3.5 percent this year.

Bottom line: Stock up on your Nutella now because you aren’t the only one who has realized the irresistible deliciousness of chocolate hazelnut spread.

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