Food brand showdown – hazelnut spread edition

When most people we know hear the word “Nutella”, their eyes light up and they start salivating to the edge of drooling. So, you can imagine when we learned that one of our awesome clients had never tried this silky smooth, chocolaty, hazelnut spread, we felt a responsibility to awaken her to the magic of Nutella.

The idea

We are fortunate to serve many clients across different segments of the food and beverage industry with our brand strategy and creative design services. This means we get to learn about many different approaches to tasting and comparing food. This particular Nutella-neophyte client conducts “showdowns” with her team to evaluate new products against similar products that are already in the market. We loved the idea of a showdown. So we borrowed it as the format for her first exposure to Nutella.

The taste test

In addition to Nutella, we identified four other kinds of hazelnut spread. We set up a blind tasting by putting a small amount of each spread on separate spoons and we offered neutral flavored snacks and water as palate cleansers in between each sample to help ensure the most accurate assessments. We asked each of our 9 tasters, 2 were our clients and 7 were Opus team members who were in the studio that day, to select the one hazelnut spread they most loved overall for flavor and texture. Here were the results:

  • 3 Nutella
  • 3 Store Brand
  • 2 Alternate “Conventional” Brand
  • 1 Alternate “Natural” Brand

The results

The taste testing showdown results were much closer than we expected. For us Nutella fanatics, it was gratifying to see Nutella at the top, even though it was technically tied for first.

Nutella CakeThis was by no means an official tasting, but we had a ton of fun and the sugar rush carried us through the rest of the afternoon. For several weeks after, our studio was in a Nutella frenzy. Julia, our co-founder, brought some samples of Nutella from Germany for us to taste the differences in formulas and Lily, our other co-founder, baked an incredible cake with a Nutella cream for us all to enjoy. And, our amazing client had an official Nutella spoon engraved for us.

This was our first Opus Food Brand Showdown but we had so much fun that we plan on making this a tradition at our studio. Please stay tuned for future showdown updates and please let us know if there is a category of food or beverage that you would like us to include.

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