Environment, News

Don’t Bother Stockpiling Nutella Just Yet

Nutella. Image: Joyce Grant
Nutella. Image: Joyce Grant

A combination of bad weather and disease has damaged much of this year’s hazelnut crop. Now people are worried that they will have to pay more for Nutella, the popular chocolate-hazelnut spread, and other products that contain hazelnuts.

Most of the world’s hazelnut supply – about 70 per cent – comes from Turkey. But last March, hailstorms and frost damaged many plants there, causing them to produce fewer nuts.

Turkish hazelnut growers were hoping to harvest about 800,000 tonnes of nuts this year. Now, they expect to harvest only about 540,000 tonnes.

As a result, the price of hazelnuts has increased from $7,150 per tonne to $11,550 per tonne.

Hazelnuts are high in protein, fibre, vitamins and folate. They are popular on their own, and as an ingredient in many things, including chocolates and chocolate bars, flavoured coffee, packages of mixed nuts, and Nutella.

Nutella is made by an Italian company called Ferrero. The company says there are 50 hazelnuts in every 370-gram jar of Nutella.

Ferrero also makes Ferrero Rocher and Kinder Bueno chocolates, which both contain hazelnuts. Ferrero buys about 25 per cent of the world’s supply of hazelnuts.

But the president of Ferrero, Francesco Paolo Fulci, says he is not worried about the hazelnut shortage. He says that problems with the harvest happen about every 10 years, but usually it is not considered important enough to be in the news.

He says the price of Nutella will not go up, so people don’t need to stock up on big supplies of it.

Also, Ferrero recently bought a company called Oltan. Oltan is the largest processor and exporter of hazelnuts in Turkey. That means other chocolate companies will be buying some of their hazelnut supply from Ferrero.

Hazelnuts are also grown in other parts of the world, including Canada, the United States and New Zealand. But Canada’s own hazelnut crop is also in danger this year. Many orchards have been affected by a disease called Eastern Filbert Blight, which is killing many plants.

Food and candy manufacturers are facing price increases from other ingredients as well. The price of cocoa has gone up as demand for chocolate has increased (see: Chocolate May Soon Cost More, TKN). Almonds from California and coffee from Brazil are also more expensive because of very dry weather conditions and smaller harvests from those areas.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The article focuses on the increasing price of hazelnuts and how this may impact the price of treats such as Nutella and certain chocolates.

How do you think the price of food is determined? For example, products such as hazelnuts have to be transported from Turkey to Italy in order to be processed. What are all of the expenses involved in the growing, transportation, processing and distribution of food?

Reading Prompt: Making Inferences
The article explains that the price of cocoa (a key ingredient in chocolate) has gone up because there is a higher demand for chocolate. Why do you think there is a higher demand for chocolate?

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Language Feature: Affected vs. Effected
Two words that are often mixed up are ‘affected’ and ‘effected’.

The word ‘affect’ means to produce a change. For example, the sentence from the article explains, “Many orchards have been affected by a disease called Eastern Filbert Blight, which is killing many plants.” The orchards have been changed by the disease called Eastern Filbert Blight.

The ‘effect’ is the result of something. Think of a sentence related to this article that uses the words ‘effect’ or ‘effected’.