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Product Review – Jif Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

I love Nutella.

nutella
Flickr user allison.hare

Admittedly, it’s more like an obsession, to the point where I don’t buy it, because I’m likely to polish off the jar with just a spoon in the span of a few hours.

However, when I recently saw a commercial for a similar product, I knew I had to buy it…you know, in the name of RESEARCH.

If you’ve never had Nutella, it’s heaven in a jar. Texturally, it’s like a smoother version of peanut butter…it’s chocolate hazelnut magic. (If you’ve ever had those little gold-wrapped Ferrero Rocher chocolates, it’s the stuff in the middle.)

Jif (the peanut butter folks) have come out with their own chocolate flavored hazelnut spread.

Jif chocolate hazelnut spread
Laurie Cataldo

Ingredients

Jif’s version: sugar, vegetable oils (rapeseed and palm), hazelnuts, cocoa processed with alkali, skim milk, whey powder, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor

Nutella: sugar, vegetable oil (palm), hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, whey, soy lecithin, vanillin (artificial flavor).

So…basically ingredients are the same.

Nutrition

Jif – 2 tbsp. serving – 230 calories, 14g fat, (3.5g saturated, 0g trans fat), 40 mg sodium, 22g carbs, <1g fiber, 2g protein. DV: 6% calcium, 6% iron

Nutella – 2 tbsp. serving – 200 calories, 11g (3.5g saturated, 0g trans fat), 15mg sodium, 22g carbs, 1g fiber, 3g protein. DV: 4% calcium, 4% iron

This is pretty close…Nutella has maybe a slight edge, but nothing to write home about.

Taste

Jif is definitely hazelnutty…it reminds me a lot of hazelnut flavoring coffee shops use. The cocoa flavor is there but not as pronounced. It’s very slightly less creamy and not as sweet as Nutella, and to me, has a bit of an off-taste. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I definitely don’t have the urge to down spoon after spoon of the stuff.

Not horrendous, but not spectacular. I’d give it a B.

Sure, I had a bias coming in, but I was open-minded. Jif’s version is a little cheaper, and radio does NOT pay the big bucks.

Unfortunately, it’s just not as good as the original.

Save for an allergy to the ingredients, there’s no reason you shouldn’t at least TRY Nutella.

(If you’re one of those people that just doesn’t like chocolate, stop reading this. We can’t be friends.)

Jif also has a mocha cappuccino version. I might give that one a try, but after today’s experiment, I’m not too hopeful.

Is there a product you can’t control yourself around?

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