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Not New News, But Still Unbelievable: Nutella Lawsuit

July 24, 2012

I love it so much I could cry


I adore Nutella. I love its silky texture, its rich flavor, the intoxicating smell…I love everything about it. Once, I even went to the mecca of Nutella–a NUTELLERIA!!! (created by gods, eaten by huamans)–and it was such a beautiful experience that I seriously shed tears and spent hours eating every kind of nutella concoction possible. It was like a dream come true.

My idea of Heaven

That being said, I can only eat Nutella a few times a year, at most. And this is because, as I have discussed in the past, like Doritos, Nutella is like crack to me. I did a post a while back where I explored new research that shows that chocolate milkshakes affects the same part of the brain for food addicts that an addictive drug like cocaine does for drug addicts, and here is what I wrote then about my forever love/enemy Doritos:

This actually makes complete and total sense to me, although I have never heard of a person selling their body or neglecting their kids to get their chocolate milkshake fix…yet. See, for me personally, Doritos are like crack. When I am grocery shopping, I have to run by the aisle with the chips to prevent myself from stopping and filling up my cart exclusively with Doritos. The grocer is my pusher and he knows just what I like. “2 FOR 1″ the signs scream at me in their bright colors and big wording, and I begin to count the change in my quivering palms, praying that I have enough to afford those two this week. I start to shake and sweat at just the mere mention of these delicious morsels of grease and cheesy goodness. My friends have had to stage Interventions when I have brought home bags of Doritos and hide them from me or throw them away, as I sit whimpering in a corner. Later, I tear the house apart trying to find where they hid my stash and fly into a rage when I can’t find that bag I know I just purchased. And if I ever do cave in and rip open a giant family-sized bag, I literally cannot stop myself from shoving the entire contents down my throat, after which I feel the most intense elation followed by a sickness so profound that I am unable to move or function.

It’s still true. And, unfortunately, while Nutella is not filled with all kinds of crazy additives that god doesn’t even know what they are, I still have an extremely addictive reaction to it. If I am ever around it, I will shmear it on everything in sight, I will eat it by the heaping spoonful, I will love that jar for all it’s worth and then some. And this is problematic and thus why I have to limit my Nutella exposure to just a few glorious times a year, if that.

Recently, my beloved brand came under fire as it was hit with a $3 million lawsuit for its “balanced breakfast claims.” Oy. Let’s read on, shall we?

They were four aggrieved American mothers who said they were shocked when they found out that the Nutella they were spreading on their kids’ bread was a confection that packed twice as much sugar as a similar amount of jam or syrup.

Now, the makers of the popular hazelnut-flavoured spread have agreed to a $3-million settlement to end four class-action suits filed in the United States that claimed that Nutella engaged in misleading marketing to portray its product as a healthy part of breakfast.

The women alleged they and other consumers were duped by Nutella television ads, which used words like “nutritious” and “healthy,” and by the company’s website, which quoted a nutritionist.

Nutella contains little protein and consists primarily of sugar and modified palm oil, the plaintiffs said in court documents.

More crucially, Ferrero USA, Inc., the New Jersey-based manufacturer of Nutella, agreed to revise its labelling and advertising campaigns.

The Nutella website, for example, will no longer say that the product contains “quality ingredients” and it no longer says that Nutella on whole-wheat bread with orange juice and skim milk “is a good combination for a balanced breakfast.”

“Nutella contains over 55 per cent processed sugar, the consumption of which has been shown to cause type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. Indeed, the serving size, 2 tablespoons, contains 200 calories, 11 grams of fat – 3.5 of which are saturated fat (18 per cent of your daily recommended value) – and 21 grams of sugar,” says one of the lawsuits, filed by Alabama resident Marnie Glover.

Ugh. I’m sorry, but seriously? One bite of that delicious concoction and you know that there’s no way in h-e-doublehockeysticks that it’s good for you! Do y’all read labels? Ever? Do you just blindly go by advertising? I mean, yes, Nutella should not be branding itself in a way that is misleading, but are you really just so busy sitting around all day watching TV commercials that you can’t look at a frickin’ label? America is sue-happy, that’s no secret, and Europeans the world over are probably laughing their arses off at us for being so naive as to think that Nutella is a healthy thing to regularly serve your child for breakfast. Sigh.


[Images courtesy of Chibird (adorable, right?) and YoungCareerTraveler (jealous!)]

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2012 6:50 pm

    Doritos are one of my biggest weaknesses too, especially with the sour cream dip, yummmy 😀

  2. July 25, 2012 12:31 am

    That Nutelleria looks amazing. I love Nutella crepes!

  3. Sexy Curmudgeon permalink
    July 25, 2012 2:01 pm

    I agree, when I first read this, I also found the idea that these women were “shocked” that a chocolate spread was not healthy is absurd. That being said, the food industry has such a massive hold over people’s eating habits, I think that ANY gains against it, be they lawsuit-related, stupidity-related, etc., are still steps in the right direction. Honestly, the health and well-being of people from low-income areas, who often have less education and less access to accurate information, statistically stands absolutely no chance against the food industry’s marketing and pricing incentives. Even though Nutella (because it’s European? Because it sometimes comes in glass jars?) seems to have a better reputation with foodies, it’s still part of the problem when it comes to what kids should be eating on a daily basis for breakfast.

  4. comments comment permalink
    September 28, 2012 10:28 pm

    ok they should not call it nutritious is what you say and indicate you believe. So what’s with your criticizing folks for calling ’em on it, (and yes, a $3mil settlement for Nutella is merely being called on it.) They lied, got called on it, and had a choice. Stop lying or pay more settlements. They chose to lie less, not call Nutella nutritious, for now. Your article should celebrate the system for working in the interest of citizens, not industry.


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