Extra! Extra! Nutella Is Not a ‘Healthy’ Breakfast Foodby Nayelli Gonzalez on May 2, 2012
If you’ve ever dipped into a jar of Nutella, you’ll know that its creamy richness is unlike any other spread. The chocolatey hazelnut spread with hints of vanilla is absolutely divine. I sometimes eat it by the spoonful (really), or spread it on a piece of toast and marvel at its deliciousness. However — despite its slogan “breakfast never tasted this good” — I’ve always viewed this treat as a dessert food. Never once has it crossed my mind that my Nutella spread could replace my hearty bowl of flax seed oatmeal or hard-boiled egg for breakfast. Unfortunately for Nutella, not everyone thinks the same way.
Two moms from San Diego filed a lawsuit against Nutella’s maker, Ferrero U.S.A. Inc., over false advertising claims — and the lawsuit was settled last week, with Ferroro agreeing to set up a $3 million fund to repay customers up to $4 for jars of Nutella purchased between Jan. 1, 2008 and Feb. 3, 2012 (Aug. 1, 2009 and Jan. 23, 2012 if you live in California).
According to the lawsuit, Nutella is “deceptively marketed, advertised, and sold [to consumers] as a ‘healthy’ and ‘nutritious’ food.”
A television advertisement that shows a mother feeding her children Nutella for breakfast and saying “As a mom I’m a great believer in Nutella as part of a nutritious breakfast” was specifically put into question in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also condemns Nutella’s product label and print advertisements for misrepresentations and omissions of facts — the fact, for example, that Nutella contains enough sugar to qualify as a candy bar!
True, Nutella’s TV spot does leave you with the feeling that eating Nutella for breakfast might not be such a bad idea; and true, Nutella’s product label does include the phrase that Nutella is “an example of a tasty yet balanced breakfast”; and some of their print advertisements claim that Nutella is “part of a nutritious breakfast” and a good source of Viatmin E.
This does look like a case of false advertisement — but in a world full of exaggerated claims, shouldn’t consumers also be held responsible to use their common sense?
Photo Credit: Bay Area Bites