Hazelnut prices soar, fuelling fears of Nutella shortage
Nutella hands out 5,000 jars of Nutella hazelnut spread to the winner of the Nutella Tour City Challenge, the city of Woodbridge, Va., at Potomac Mills Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012. (AP / Paul Morigi)
Andrea Janus, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, August 18, 2014 11:41AM EDT
Hold on to your wallets, Nutella fans. Poor weather has ravaged the home of the majority of the world’s hazelnut crops, driving up prices and stoking fears of a shortage of the sugary sweet treat.
Turkey is home to about 70 per cent of the world’s hazelnut crops. A spring frost has damaged much of those crops, according to reports, threatening this year’s harvest. While industry forecasts predicted a yield of 800,000 tonnes, those have since been revised to 540,000 tonnes.
As a result, Freeworld Trading, a commodity trading company in the United Kingdom, reports that hazelnut prices have been soaring since the March frost. Prices have jumped from 6,500 Turkish lira per tonne in early March to 10,250 lira per tonne in late May, according to trader Michael Stevens.
Reports of a hazelnut shortage have consumers worried about the supply of their favourite hazelnut products, the most popular being Nutella.
A call to parent company Ferrero U.S.A. was not immediately returned.
The chocolate hazelnut spread boasts “over 50 hazelnuts per 13 oz. jar,” according to company information.
The spread itself was born out of a cocoa shortage in Italy due to rationing during the Second World War. Italian pastry maker Pietro Ferrero, founder of the Ferrero chocolate company, used hazelnuts to extend his chocolate supply.
Nutella is now the top-selling hazelnut spread in the United States.
A recent move by the Ferrero Group suggests it may be able to weather a hazelnut shortage, however. Last month, the company purchased Turkey-based Oltan Group, the world’s top grower and processor of hazelnuts.
The purchase gives Ferrero Group access to five hazelnut production facilities that rack up some $500 million in sales.