Nutella – nutritious or not?

A mother is suing the makers of Nutella for deceptive advertising.  Nutella is a spread that usually appears in the peanut butter aisle of grocery stores.  In case you’ve never had it, the taste is described on the Nutella site as “a unique taste” from the “blend of simple and wholesome ingredients – hazelnuts, sugar, skim milk and a hint of cocoa.”

The deception cited is that Ferrero, the Italian company that makes Nutella, advertises the spread as nutritious.  It does seem like a stretch to call something nutritious when the first ingredient listed is sugar  (followed by palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor).  And there are 200 calories per two tablespoons.  The entire complaint is here.

Not familiar with Nutella?  It seems that this European brand is not heavily advertised in the US.  It has a bit of a cult following, as well as a major Facebook presence.  I learned all this from an article in BrandWeek that I stumbled across.  Read the article here.

If you are interested in this area of the law, see if you library has a copy of Advertising and Commercial Speech: A First Amendment Guide.  The title examines the origin, meaning, and legal evolution of the Supreme Court’s commercial speech doctrine, focusing on how this central doctrine’s rights and restrictions affect advertising in nearly 50 industries and professions. 

To order the title, click here or email libraryrelations@pli.edu.

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