Renna's Discoveries: Chocolate & Hazelnut Spread Test - What's the Best?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Chocolate & Hazelnut Spread Test - What's the Best?

Chocolate spread is surely one of the amazing things in life. I don't know anyone who's never had it, however, I grew up in days when nut allergies didn't really exist. So everyone had Chocolate and Hazelnut spread....or in other words.....Nutella!!!
We used to have it in sandwiches, on toast, on bagels, on ryvita, in croissants, in rolls of any kind, on a spoon, it can also go on top of semolina, and now Nutella have a recipe book (Which I have !!!) So can make Nutella cakes, cookies, milkshakes, hot chocolate, cheesecake, mousse, meringues, pinwheels, tarts, souffl├ęs, macaroons.....seriously you could include Nutella in any kind of dessert or pastry. A bakers popular way to have Nutella is inside a cake - because its as yummy as ...
Now as Nutella is so popular (as its literally the King of the spreads), other brands see if they can make a Chocolate and Hazelnut spread better, or at least the same.

Then you have the companies like JimJams who think they can make the best alternative to Nutella but in the healthy way !! I challenged them to see if it was better, so to make it fair, I've included my selection of spreads to compare. Just remember, I have been eating Nutella for about 30 odd years, so, I'm well used to the taste and different ways of eating it.
Here is a quick comparison of some of the Nutritional Values per 100g that I tend to look at when I'm in the shops.

Now, I thought this was very interesting, as some are better in some but worse in others. Look at that sugar content in Nutella - Wow !!! I couldn't believe it when I compared it. That's a shocking amount of sugar, but then the salt intake in JimJams is not good either. So looking through them....which would you buy based on nutritional values alone? Hummm

So, here comes the taste test. I opened each jar and spread a bit of a slice of fresh bread, and cut the bread into think strips of the same size. I then put a postik note on the inside of the jar so no-one could see the results.

A - Aldi
B - JimJams
C - Morrisons
D - Tescos
E - Nutella

There was quite a few of us - including kids - so we got all opinions from various ages. They had to taste each one, and give it a score of 1 - 5 (1 obviously being Bad, and 5 being Amazing). If they thought it could be Nutella, they had to write a N on the paper. It didn't matter how many times they wrote N.
Only I set this up, so no-one knew what the answers were. 

Here are the results, which I found confusing and fascinating at the same time.

There was a clear winner!!
From listening to them all talk, the youngest thought they were all amazing. Some thought some were sweeter than others, and some thought some were creamier than others. The Adults were not keen on A - Aldi, and everyone knew E was Nutella when they finally got to it!! No surprise there. When tasting B - JimJams most said it was really nice with a great flavour, although D - Tescos was creamier and more like Nutella, but too sweet. Same with C - Morrisons, its way to sweet.
Before calculating the points, and after everyone had tried them all,  I asked if they would change their points, some said Yes, and then I asked, which one would you buy if you had the choice of flavour, most said B, but still really liked E.
This is where I found it fasinating, as, by this point they all knew that E was Nutella, but they didn't know B was JimJams. So, do you go with what you know naturally?

I think the more people who taste JimJams the more people will convert. If you ask anyone, or show anyone these pictures, which I have on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages and ask which one is the best, nearly everyone said Nutella all the way, however, there were a few that stated that the JimJams looked interesting and they would like to give it a try, due the Gluten Free aspect, which is becoming a very popular diet these days, even if you don't need to be Gluten Free. People see Nutella and just know that its amazing. A lot of people wouldn't even consider buying anything else.

JimJams is the only Gluten Free Chocolate and Hazelnut Spread that I know of at present that is in the main market. It has No added Sugar and its has a great taste award for this year with two stars too, so it's doing really well in the tasting world.

I tasted them all too, knowing what they were and I would definitely buy JimJams for the flavour. I would buy Nutella if I needed to spread over a cake or cook with as it is creamier and easier to spread. Tesco's and Morrison's, I don't think I'll buy again, as the sugar content is very high, and you can smell and taste it. ( can smell sugar, try it with plain tea and sugared tea and you'll smell the difference) Now although Nutella's sugar content is extremely high, and a surprise in this comparison test, you can't taste it or smell it as much. Weird ey? How do they hide all that sugar in the taste?
Aldi's result I found very confusing, as the ingredients are very similar with the others, well actually they all have similar ingredients, but obviously its the content of them, or possibly the way they are produced which changes the flavour so much. It doesn't taste as ....milky, if that's make sense, it taste more like an American chocolate spread. Nothing wrong with that, but, English chocolate and American chocolate taste different. So the Aldi's Grandessa would suit other people, who probably think Nutella is way to creamy.

I would recommend our taste test at home, as.....I found this brilliant to do, and a complete eye opener, I mean who on earth has so many different spreads in the cupboard. Well ..... apart from Me!!!!
I would do this again though. Have you ever completed a test like this ?

Which one of these spreads do you think you would buy after reading our results?

If you are interested in reading up on the JimJams healthier option, have a look at the link here :

Nutella will always be the King of spreads, but, there are some very close contenders these days.