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Chocolate maker plans vegan Nutella - what's nut to like?

A bartender in Rome spreads Nutella on a crepe
A bartender in Rome spreads Nutella on a crepe Copyright Alberto Pellaschiar/AP2010
Copyright Alberto Pellaschiar/AP2010
By Simone McCandless
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Ferrero is planning a vegetable version of Nutella for Italy's supermarket shelves. The new version will have no traces of animal-origin ingredients.


Chocolate giant Fererro is launching a vegan version of the popular Nutella spread to go on sale in supermarkets in Italy this autumn.

Nutella's origins can be traced back to World War II when cocoa was limited and expensive. As a result, chocolate makers searched for new ways to produce their products using ingredients such as hazelnuts. Nutella's own journey began in 1964 with the sale of its first jar of the hazelnut spread in Piedmont, Italy. The company's iconic logo appeared on the worldwide stage the following year, with sales expanding from Italy to Germany, France, and Australia.

Today, the widely known chocolate hazelnut spread is in cupboards across the globe. However, people who choose a flexitarian or lactose-free diet have had to find other alternatives to satisfy their nutty cravings because of the product's dairy additive.

Fererro hopes its mission to serve new food trends through its plant-based spread will bring a thrill to such households.

News of Nutella Plant-Based's arrival comes after a year of substantial production growth, with a 20% sales increase, obtaining 500,000 tonnes.

CEO of Gruppo VèGè, Giorgio Santambrogio, confirmed Fererro's announcement via LinkedIn as he said his company is "proud to be the first retailer to be informed of Fererro's innovations".

What to know about Plant-Based Nutella

The newly launched version of the spread aims to reach the homes of mainly flexitarian consumers, who actively look to reduce animal products in their diets. It is estimated that some 12 million people in Italy fall into this category.

Additionally, the product will target lactose-intolerant individuals, as Nutella Plant Based's new recipe calls for only plant-based ingredients. As the latest addition of Nutella hits the market, Fererro insists the taste will stay the same. 

The trademark name Nutella Plant Based was registered last December in Italy and Germany. The newly introduced product enters Italy’s blooming plant-based market with its vegan alternative market worth some €680 million, of which dairy alternatives account for some €310.4 million in sales.

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