A California mom has won a $3-million lawsuit against Nutella after suing them for – get this – feeling “deceived” by the brand’s advertising. Athena Hohenberg apparently had no idea that serving your children chocolate for breakfast might not be the healthiest choice.
In fact, she was shocked to learn it has “the nutritional properties of a candy bar, with very high levels of refined sugar and saturated fat.” I’m going to point out the obvious here, but did she not bother reading the jar? I mean, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a chocolate-hazelnut spread might be chock full of sugar and fat. Duh.
Look, I’m all for moms standing up for what they believe in. And I myself am sick of crappy products – especially those aimed at children – being marketed as healthy and nutritious. But this woman is an idiot. All she had to do was read the product’s nutritional info – plain and simple. It’s astounding to me that she sued and even more shocking that she actually won!
Ferrero, the makers of Nutella, decided to settle two class-action lawsuits – filed by consumers who said they felt deceived by the brand’s advertising – with a $3-million payout. That means that anyone who bought Nutella between August 2009 and January 2012 is entitled to $4 (pretty much a refund). A much bigger deal, however, is that Nutella plans to revise its labeling and ad campaigns as a result. For example, the Nutella website will no longer say the product contains “quality ingredients,” and it’ll remove its claims that Nutella on whole-wheat bread with orange juice and skim milk “is a good combination for a balanced breakfast.”
As ridiculous as I find this whole case, it serves as a reminder to parents to read the label before feeding your children anything. We should all know by now that no matter what claims a company website or cleverly-designed label might make, it’s the fine print (i.e., the actual ingredients) that tells the whole story.