UnderCover Waitress: Nutella Class Action Lawsuit

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nutella Class Action Lawsuit

The makers of Nutella have agreed to pay out three million to settle a class-action lawsuit. They marketed the spread as a healthy breakfast for children via television ads. This claim amounts to false advertising.

The ingredients of Nutella, in order:
* Sugar
* Palm Oil
* Hazelnuts
* Cocoa
* Skim milk
* Reduced minerals whey (milk)
* Lecithin as emulsifier (soy)
* Vanillin: an artificial flavor.

Ingredients must be listed in order of amount; the ingredient in the greatest amount is listed first, the least, last. That means that there is more sugar in Nutella than anything else.

In general, a product is made up of the first three ingredients, with the following ingredients in much lesser amounts. So, Nutella is mostly sugar, palm oil, and hazelnuts. When asked about palm oils, Dr. Andrew Weil indicates that eating palm oil is acceptable.  (Cottonseed oil is an example of an oil that you should never eat.)

Many Americans are in the extremely bad habit of feeding their children sugar and processed flours for breakfast in the form of breakfast cereals. Sugar is not a breakfast food; however, it is the first ingredient in Nutella. Parents looking for alternatives that were relatively quick and easy were told that Nutella was healthy. Nutella is not a healthy breakfast food; on the contrary, Nutella is a dessert or a treat. You wouldn't eat a Snickers bar for breakfast, would you?

Here is what it says on the Nutella Consumer Class Action Settlements Website:

IF YOU PURCHASED NUTELLA IN CALIFORNIA BETWEEN AUGUST 1, 2009 AND JANUARY 23, 2012, OR IN ANY OTHER STATE BETWEEN JANUARY 1, 2008 AND FEBRUARY 3, 2012, YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A PAYMENT FROM A PROPOSED CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT.

Follow the link above to make your claim if you have one. People may receive $4 per jar of Nutella purchased during the time period mentioned above, and up to $20 per household.

I know that some people will respond to this by thinking that the lawsuit is based upon stupidity; and I agree that thinking that Nutella is health food is a bit thick. Health food isn't made up of sugar and oil. However, I think the lawsuit is a good thing. If we don't enforce laws regarding advertising claims then marketing chimps (as fellow blogger William Kendall likes to call them) will say anything to make a sale. And that is dangerous. 

4 comments :

  1. And they are marketing chimps!

    I never really looked at it as a health food to begin with, just a delicious spread for sandwiches. And as with anything that tastes good, moderation is the key.

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    Replies
    1. There is an article somewhere on the internet about the case: "Nutella is not Broccoli." lol

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  2. i totally eat snickers for breakfast. i kinda view it as one of the better prerogatives of adulthood-ness.....plus a snickers is probably at little bit healthier than the donuts i might otherwise eat. :-)

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