Nutella manufacturer faces lawsuit over nutrition claims

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

A consumer class action lawsuit has been filed against Ferrero USA in a San Diego federal court, accusing it of falsely portraying Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread as part of a nutritious breakfast for children.

The name plaintiff, Ms. Athena Hohenberg, mother of a four-year-old child, claims she was ‘shocked’ when she found out that the spread was unhealthy and “the next best thing to a candy bar”​ through speaking with friends. She said she had bought the spread because she sought a healthy snack or breakfast alternative for her household.

Hohenberg complains that the company’s commercials portray Nutella as “an example of a tasty yet balanced breakfast” ​in association with a picture of fresh fruits, whole wheat toast and orange juice.

“Nutella, however, contains about 70% saturated fat and processed sugars by weight,”​ the court document reads. “Both these ingredients contribute significantly to America’s alarming increases in childhood obesity, which can lead to lifelong health problems. Therefore, Nutella is not part of a nutritionally ‘balanced’ breakfast for consumption by children, as Defendant’s advertising deceptively suggests.”

The case alleges that the advertising of Nutella violates consumer protection laws by portraying it as a healthy, nutritious breakfast for children, and demands that Ferrero be barred from advertising Nutella as healthy or nutritious and launch a ‘corrective advertising campaign.’ It also demands that consumers be refunded for their Nutella purchases, claiming that revenues gained through Nutella sales were “unjustly acquired through acts of unlawful, unfair and/or fraudulent competition.”

Nutella’s maker Ferrero USA has refused to comment specifically on the case, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, company spokesperson Elise Titan said: “We stand behind the quality and ingredients of Nutella hazelnut spread and the advertising of our product.”

The court documents are online here​.

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1 comment


Posted by mrbeverage,

whats next? is she going to sue Lucky Charms because they really aren't "magically delicious"?

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