No matter how old you are, you must have had some sort of contact with Nutella: the chocolate hazelnut spread. Children and teens love it, and even adults indulge in it. Best of all, it is a chocolaty treat that is healthy, nutritious and an important part of a healthy breakfast! — At least according to Ferrero, the makers of Nutella. Sound too good to be true? Sadly, it is.
An outraged mother was shocked when she found out what she originally was led to believe was a healthy treat for her family turned out to have the “nutritional properties of a candy bar, with very high levels of refined sugar and saturated fat.” She then sued Ferrero (back in April, 2012), winning the claim.
Connie Evers, a consultant for Nutella was traced to be the source of the whole scandal: she began to depict the spread as a good breakfast companion for kids, misleading mothers to think it was as healthy as regular peanut butter, but was sure to be more attractive to their kids. This led to outrage, causing the company to have to quickly take action in attempts to ease discontent, and save their image.
My main concern for this issue is that children were pulled into this issue. There are commercials that not only show the satisfaction of other children their age consuming Nutella, but also made them believe this was healthy. This is unethical, and unacceptable, as children are too young to think beyond what is shown to them.
Appropriately, Nutella has settled the lawsuits with a $3 million (USD) payout, as well as promised they would stop labeling themselves as nutritious. However, it is obvious they still want to encourage their product as an essential breakfast companion (link to their Facebook page). Their new ads still suggests that it is a good spread, with no preservatives and colouring. So how exactly does this show that they are taking steps to mend their actions? Perhaps they believe they won’t need to. One can observe that a brand as strong as Nutella’s can easily move past the public’s scrutinizing gaze after a quick apology, and continue what they were doing.