Nuts over Nutella

Ah, the classic Nutella spread. Part chocolate, part hazelnut, and just 200 calories of pure deliciousness. Or is it 100 calories? Do you classify your serving as 1 tablespoon or 2? That’s what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to know.

Nutella is currently classified as a dessert topping. The serving size is two tablespoons which is equivalent to 200 calories on the Nutella jar. If it were reclassified as a spread (the same category as honey, jam, and fruit butter), the label would read 100 calories for 1 tablespoon.

Angela Chen from The Verge writes that, “100 calories per tablespoon could make people think it’s healthier than it is. People are already bad at reading food labels. We often don’t keep track of how much we eat and are easily tricked by a small number next to the “calorie” box — which is exactly what would happen in this case.”

Nutella is commonly consumed as a dessert topping. It acts as a savory spread, topping, or dip for items such as bread, bagels, ice cream, or pretzels. It is chocolaty, rich, and creamy which is why it falls into the same category as other dessert toppings like frosting and whipped cream.

Why would Ferrero (the Italian parent company of Nutella) want to consider it a jam spread? The “lower” calorie number would most likely attract customers and boost sales.

The FDA opened the floor for comments for 60 days regarding whether the popular shelf item should be listed as a dessert topping or a jam based solely on the amount the typical person eats in a single serving. So going back to the original question, 1 tablespoon or 2?

The FDA’s public commenting period closed January 3, 2017.


Is Nutella a Dessert Topping or a Spread? The FDA Wants to Know. Retrieved from

Why the FDA wants to know how much Nutella you scoop out of the jar. Retrieved from