A Califronia mom, Athena Hohenberg, sued Ferrero Roche last February for claiming their chocolate-hazelnut spread was healthy, when in fact it is probably one of the least healthy things you can eat. Hohenberg claimed she was taken in by ads and product packaging that suggested Nutella was part of a healthy meal.
Nutella's packaging claims that it is "healthy" and "part of a balanced meal" even though a quick glance at the nutrition information reveals a 2 tbs serving conatins 200 calories, 21 grams of sugar and 11 grams of fat. Hohenberg was seeking an order preventing Nutella from being marketed in this way.
The suit has been settled for $3.05 million, with $2.5 million going to consumers. Anyone who purchased Nutella from January 1st, 2008 to February 3rd, 2012 can file for a portion of the settlement. Consumers can receive up to $4 per jar that they bought during that time period with a maximum of $20 per household.
You can file a claim here, but you "may need to provide certain requested documentation to substantiate your claim." We assume that means receipts. Who keeps a receipt for a $4.00 jar of Nutella, in some cases, for over 4 years?
However, In reality, you probably will not have to provide that "documentation", as Gus Lubin Business Insider reports. He filled out a claim for 5 jars of Nutella without being asked for receipts. Then again, he hasn't gotten his money yet, so it remains to be seen if they will eventually ask for proof.
As part of the settlement, Ferrero will pull this ad, which advocates giving the fattening spread to your children daily.
Breakfast? In this house? In the morning, I can use all the help I can get. That's why I love Nutella, a delicious hazelnut spread that's perfect on multigrain toast and even whole wheat waffles. It's a quick and easy way to give my family a breakfast they'll want to eat. And Nutella is made with simple, quality ingredients like hazelnuts, skim milk, and a hint of cocoa. They love the taste, and I feel good that they're ready to tackle the day. Nutella—breakfast never tasted this good.
The commercial clearly tries to associate Nutella with a healthy lifestyle, suggesting you spread it on whole wheat waffles and multigrain toast, while mentioning hazelnuts and skim milk as its "quality ingredients". They are clever to never actually say that Nutella is good for you, or mention the fact that this would be the equivalent of giving your child a candy bar for breakfast.