Do the New Hazelnut Spread M&M’s Actually Taste Like Nutella? We Investigate

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When M&M’s announced their new Hazelnut Spread flavor on Tuesday, the crowd went wild, with fans spreading the news on Facebook by the droves (our own post has over 18,000 shares and counting!).

But why? This is certainly not the first new M&M’s flavor to hit shelves—they are perhaps rivaled only by Oreo in the category of snack innovation. But the intersection of two cult dessert favorites, Nutella and M&M’s, seemed to strike a chord at an unprecedented level.

The new candy is not officially affiliated with the Nutella brand, hence the generic name, though there’s no doubt it was inspired by the original chocolate-hazelnut spread (which is so popular it once sparked riots in French grocery stores.) Given this fact, many have already been asking if they will be able to live up to the hype they’ve already created.

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Though they don’t hit shelves until April 2019, we received an advanced “Sharing Size” bag and got to tasting in order to answer this question. The verdict is sure to calm some nerves: They are very Nutella-esque. That familiar nutty flavor hits you almost immediately—perhaps packing even more of a hazelnut punch than the actual stuff.

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Beyond that, the M&M’s scored high marks across the board among PEOPLE staffers, with many remarking upon the delightful textural contrast that is not present in the classic version. The creamy filling is the perfect foil to the hard outer shell, and the layer of milk chocolate in the middle acts as an intermediary between the two.

Overall, we give the Hazelnut Spread M&M’s a solid A rating, something we do not hand out lightly—just ask the Orange Vanilla Cream and Crunch Raspberry flavors.

Read more: people.com