This Scientist Is Making Sure We Never Run Out Of Nutella

Basically everyone loves Nutella — and what’s not to love? It’s a delicious chocolatey spread that isn’t as bad for you as actual chocolate sauce. If it ran out, there would probably be riots in the street — but scientists are trying to make sure that doesn’t happen. Candy companies predict a hazelnut shortage in the next 5-6 years if demand for Nutella and hazelnut candies continues to rise. And, considering how some people can’t get enough of the stuff, this is pretty likely to happen.

Nutella maker Ferrero uses a quarter of the world’s hazelnut supply and, right now, hazelnuts are only grown in Turkey and Oregon. The trees could grow in more locations (like the mid-Atlantic and southern Canada) but Eastern Filbert Blight causes the hazelnuts to die.

Tom Molnar has been researching hazelnut trees for more than 20 years, and oversees the hazelnut tree breeding program at Rutgers University. They’ve developed trees designed to resist the blight and produce high quality hazelnuts. The trees will be distributed this year to New Jersey farmers for tests.

Molnar hopes to officially release the new hazelnut trees in the next 2-3 years. If successful, hazelnuts could be harvested in the next decade. Ferrero is even keeping s close eye on the project.