food / travel

German Court To Nutella: Stop Hawking Your Chocolate Treat As Healthy

Nutella may be tasty, but the creamy chocolate spread is not nearly as healthy as its labels would suggest. A court in Frankfurt has ruled that Ferrero, Nutella’s parent company, needs to change its labels, which consumer groups call downright deceptive.

Nutella for breakfast
Nutella for breakfast

*NEWSBITES

Nutella manufacturer Ferrero markets its popular chocolate-hazelnut spread as not only being good, but good for you. A German courts begs to differ, arguing that while Nutella product may be indeed be delicious, its does not have the nutritional value or vitamin content its labels would suggest.

Frankfurt's Court of Appeals has ordered Ferrero to change its Nutella labels, insisting they contain erroneous and misleading information. The court sided with consumer protection groups, which claim the company calculated Nutella's fat and carbohydrate content based on a 15-gram portion, while estimating vitamin and mineral content – which appear on the labels in another color so as to stand out – based on a 100-gram portion. That would mean that the consumer would have to eat a fourth of a jar of Nutella, not 15 grams, to absorb the vitamin content listed.

Also, as the high percentages of vitamins and minerals contrasted with the low percentages listed on the labels for carbohydrates (3%) and fat (7%), clients could easily reach the false conclusion that Nutella contains very little fat and carbohydrates, but plenty of healthy vitamins.

In a typical supermarket buying situation, the court said, consumers didn't have the time to make all the calculations and would react positively to the apparent information that a product contained low amounts and fat and sugar and high amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Frankfurt-based Ferrero Deutschland announced it plans to appeal the case in the Federal Supreme Court. The company said it is convinced the labeling is transparent and easily understandable, and that it fulfills all legal requirements. However, it stated that in the meantime it would voluntarily change the labels by the end of this year, and list all nutritional values per portion.

Read the full story in German by Christian Ebner

Photo - janineomg

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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