With pancake day just around the corner, it's the perfect time to stock up on your favourite toppings.
But is Nutella the tastiest way to indulge your chocolate hazelnut spread cravings, or can cheaper supermarket own labels offer savings?
Our taste test says yes, with Nutella beaten on taste by several supermarket options, including a brilliant cheap Lidl spread, in a blind taste test.
We asked a panel of consumers to rate Nutella alongside eight own-label chocolate spreads, including M&S, Sainsbury's and Lidl, in January 2022. Not all impressed, with one budget option falling down on flavour versus rivals.
Read on to find out which chocolate hazelnut spreads beat Nutella in our taste test, our top value option, and how your nearest supermarket option compares. Plus, we looked into which spreads contain palm oil and what you need to know about palm oil sustainability.
Waitrose and Lidl came top for taste in our test, beating Nutella and earning Best Buys.
Lidl's option is less than a third of the price of Nutella, so it's a great choice if you're looking to save on your shopping.
£1.70 for 400g (43p per 100g)
Waitrose proved its hazelnut chocolate spread a worthy 'essential', taking the top spot in our taste test.
It ticked plenty of boxes for our panel, receiving high marks for its flavour, texture, aroma and appearance. Three quarters said the strength of hazelnut flavour and sweetness was spot on, and 83% thought the thickness was just right.
Waitrose is one of the priciest own labels we tested at 43p per 100g, but it's still a cheaper option than Nutella.
£1.09 for 400g (27p per 100g)
Lidl's Best Buy chocolate spread is our best-value pick. It's one of the cheapest we tested and is 61p less per jar than the winning Waitrose spread.
Tasters thought it had a nice balance of chocolate and hazelnut flavours, and a satisfying texture that was less thick than some spreads we tested.
It also has the least sugar and saturated fat, so is ideal if you're looking for a slightly healthier choice (though it's still classed as high in sugar and saturated fat).
Available to buy from Lidl (in-store only).
These two weren't far behind the top-scorers.
£1.50 for 400g (38p per 100g)
This chocolate hazelnut spread is a great choice for Tesco shoppers looking for a cheaper alternative to Nutella.
Not everyone was a fan of its darker colour, but our panel thought its flavour and texture were on a par with our Best Buys.
The chocolate flavour particularly impressed tasters, with more than three quarters finding the strength of chocolate just right.
£2.90 for 350g (83p per 100g)
Nutella fell just outside the top three in our test. It was among the best-rated spreads for flavour, but not everyone was a fan of the texture, with 62% finding it too thick for their liking.
It's typically the priciest option, though you may get it for less when on offer (which it often is). Bear in mind Nutella's smaller jar size (350g) compared with supermarket spreads, which are typically 400g, though. Per 100g, it's more than three times the price of Lidl's Best Buy chocolate spread.
It also contains the most saturated fat and sugar of the spreads we tested (though all are classed as high on these measures).
While Nutella does deliver on taste, many supermarket chocolate spreads scored similarly well - or better - so it's worth giving a cheaper own brand a go if you're looking to cut costs.
Several other supermarket options also impressed tasters, though Aldi shoppers might want to try elsewhere for the tastiest alternatives.
Here's how the rest of the spreads fared:
Nutella might be expensive, but if you're a diehard fan it's still possible to nab a bargain.
It tends to cycle on and off special offer, with lots of supermarkets offering discounts in the lead up to pancake day.
It's discounted price is still more expensive than the own labels we tested, but if you only have eyes for Nutella, it's worth shopping around to get the best deal.
Nutella isn't suitable for vegans, as it contains skimmed milk powder.
None of the products we tested were dairy-free, but there are vegan chocolate hazelnut spreads available in supermarkets.
Palm oil is used in a variety of food and products, including chocolate hazelnut spread.
It's an efficient crop and has a number of useful properties, such as helping to lengthen shelf-life and improve texture. However it's popularity has led to widespread deforestation, and there is concern about the environmental impact this is having.
The spreads we tested (including Nutella) all use RSPO certified palm oil, which means the oil has been accredited as sustainably produced under the RSPO scheme.
M&S Smooth Hazelnut Chocolate Spread is the only chocolate spread we tested that doesn't contain any palm oil.
We tested Nutella alongside standard range supermarket own-label chocolate hazelnut spreads, excluding vegan or low-sugar versions.
Each chocolate hazelnut spread was assessed by 58 people. They rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each product and told us what they liked and disliked about each one.
The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn't know which brand they were trying, and the order they sampled the chocolate hazelnut spreads in was fully rotated to avoid any bias.