Nutella sued over misleading health claims.
Ferrero USA, the manufacturer of Nutella, the chocolate-hazelnut spread, is paying $3 million to settle a class action lawsuit as it had been misleading consumers to think that it was “healthy.” No surprise that many clients I have counseled over the years have considered Nutella a healthy spread, both for themselves and their family.
As reported in the Huffington Post, the law suit is being filed by a California mom who realized she was feeding her 4 year old “the next best thing to a candy bar.” She had been lured by some of Nutella’s ads into thinking that it was, indeed, a healthy product.
You too can receive a piece of the action. If you purchased Nutella in recent years, you are eligible for around $4 per jar.
In addition to being fined, Ferrero must now change the product’s labeling and marketing statements. Nutella’s website no longer makes any health claims. Instead, the company now focuses on the tag line – “Breakfast never tasted this good.”
While you may enjoy the taste, Nutella is hardly health food.
Here is the nutritional breakdown per 2 tablespoon serving (a size of a walnut in a shell—which is quite small!):
11 grams fat
3.5 gram saturated fat
21 grams sugar
Sugar is the first ingredient! In fact, just one serving of the spread contains the equivalent to 5 teaspoons sugar. The 11 grams of fat contains 99 calories making the product nearly 50% fat. It also contains unhealthy saturated fat. Saturated fat has been shown to raise cholesterol levels and may contribute to heart disease.
So Nutella is hardly “healthy!”
While you may enjoy Nutella, best to use the spread as an occasional treat. Nut butters such as almond butter and peanut butter would be a healthier choice. Instead of the sugar in Nutella, you’ll get some protein.
It is time that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) crack down on food companies who make food and nutrient claims on packages to help them fly off the shelves!