Ferrero USA, Inc., maker of Nutella will pay out $3.5 million as part of a legal settlement. The makers of the hazelnut and chocolate spread will divide $2.5 million of the settlement among consumers who filed a claim. This settlement comes after a California mother sued the company for their erroneous health claims.
Athena Hohenberg, the mother who brought the claims, proposed a class-action suit against Ferrero after she fed Nutella to her 4-year-old believing it was healthy for her based off the information in the advertisements. The ads state that the chocolate spread is a part of a nutritious breakfast.
Hohenberg was surprised to learn that Nutella contains 21 grams of sugar, 200 calories, and 11 grams of fat (3.5 of which were saturated) in one serving.
Ferrero lost the suit and will pay up to $20 per household of those who file a claim stating they purchased a $4 jar of spread – fulfilling the payment up to five jars. In addition to the pay-out, Ferrero has agreed to change its marketing campaign and change the Nutella label to include the sugar and fat content on the front of the jar. New television ads will be created along with changes being made to the company website. (more…)
The commercial seems innocent – a mom, trying to do the right thing for her family. She’s looking for a healthy breakfast choice, one that her kids will eat. She opens the pantry and pulls out a jar of Nutella, and the family happily sits down to nosh on it. She’s surrounded by smiling faces, all enjoying a breakfast of Nutella spread on whole grain toast. It’s a blissful shot, one that most moms would give their right arm to enjoy. Everyone eating breakfast with no fuss, no complaint, no “I hate that!” within hearing.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, it is. We’ve been ’round this debate before. Despite a lawsuit, the company is still insisting that Nutella is a nutritious breakfast choice. But is it really, or is this just a case of false advertising?
Janine Bolton, RD, has this to say about Nutella for breakfast: “I would not consider Nutella part of a healthy or balanced breakfast for kids. A balanced breakfast is one that features foods from different food groups, so that we get a variety of nutrients. Nutella does not belong to any food group and packs in over 10 grams of sugar per tablespoon. I wouldn’t recommend Nutella for anything other than an occasional treat.”
It sounds like a no-brainer: A chocolate spread can’t possibly be healthy, can it? Yet, a California woman claims to have been deceived by the commercials for Nutella, the European chocolate hazelnut spread.
Athena Hohenberg says that she was “shocked to learn that Nutella was in fact, not ‘healthy, nutritious’ food, but instead was the next best thing to a candy bar.” She also claims that she had no idea that Nutella contains dangerous level of saturated fat – more than half of the 200 calories per 2 Tablespoon serving comes from fat.