Nutella has been around for a very long time. The Ferrero folks have been selling it since 1964, so that means that I have never lived in a world without Nutella.
It is some seriously good stuff. Like eat-it-off-a-ladle-in-the-bathtub good.
Anyway, since it is So Very Good, it is no surprise that other folks wanted to jump on the bandwagon. And jump they did. The Justin's folks make a natural version. The Jif folks just started making a version (along with a kinda coffee-flavored one called Mocha Cappuccino). And I wanted to know which is better. Will one of these Upstarts unseat Nutella?
Since I love you all, I decided to put them To The Test. I bought (okay, I always have on hand) a Vat of Nutella (not this big, though), a small Try Me pack of the Justin's Organics kind and a jar each of Jif's Chocolate flavored Hazelnut Spread and the Aforementioned Mocha Cappuccino one. There are other clones out there: Nocciolata, ChocoDream, Nutkao (the jar also says "fantasia di cacao," too), Pernigotti NeroGianduia (those folks make the cocoa powder I use, too), Eurocrem, and too many others to mention.* Most of these are European and not readily available at Your Local Grocer's, though, and I wanted to stick with stuff you can find at home. Unless you live in Europe, in which case, go wild!
I want to keep this rather brief, which is hard for me, but I shall try. The short answer is: Nutella wins. It just does. And it's kind of not even close. I might be Being a little unfair since I'm using the Nutella as the standard and seeing how close the others come rather than trying to see which is the best chocolate-hazelnut spread. But here's how they stack up for me.
First, the Viscosity Test. Behold the images:
And now on to the flavor comparison.
Justin's: Excellent hazelnut flavor. Deep cocoa flavor. Not too sweet. These are all good things, and if you can't have Nutella or truly are looking for a healthier version, this might be your best bet of the three I tried. However, it is not smooth at all, which is one of the things I like about Nutella. So the Justin's just feels nubbly, like you're eating tweed. Granted, it's tweed made of cocoa and hazenuts, but still: tweed.
By the way, the Justin's folks try to sell theirs with this question: "Do you eat frosting off a spoon?" For me, the obvious answer to that question is, "Yes!" followed by a "Duh!" and an eye roll. If you feel the same way as I do, Justin's might not be for you.
Jif: The Mocha Cappuccino flavor really doesn't factor into this since the coffee notes throw off the whole comparison. But I will say that I was not really a fan of the MC kind. It has kind of a Non-Dairy Creamer aftertaste that through the whole thing off for me. Texture-wise, it's very smooth, but doesn't have that slight chew-ooze of Nutella. Which again is part of why I like the Nutella.
The Chocolate flavored Hazelnut Spread from Jif is almost a dead ringer for Nutellam flavor-wise. Seriously. Sweetness-wise. cocoa-wise. Hazelnut-wise. But again, it lacks that tiny bit of flow and chew that Nutella has. It is cheaper, though, which is not a bad thing. Give it a try. It really is pretty close. Also, if you look at them side by side, which I did because I love you, the Jif has more of a matte finish while the Nutella is a bit shiny. This visual difference definitely transfers to the overall flavor impression once you get it In Your Face.
Nutella: While it might not be part of a nutritious breakfast, it is the best. It is the standard because I Said So. I love the way it is ever-so-slightly viscous. And the way it glistens just a bit. And the way it seizes up just a little when you start to chew a big old spoonful. Have you noticed this? It is worth noting. I cannot think of a good way to describe what I'm talking about without sounding like I'm in the porn industry, so you're just going to have to try it for yourself.
I may have to go crazy and buy some of those European models and do a blind tasting, but for now, Nutella beats Jif and Justin. Sorry J&J. And Justin, when you start to market to Frosting-On-A-Spoon folks, come see me.
And there you have it. For me, Nutella reigns supreme.
Have you tried any other versions of chocolate hazelnut spread? Have you tried these? What did you think? Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.
*These are all affiliate links. If you were to click on one and make a Purchase, you would be helping us to feed the kittens. Just so you know.