Apr
2012

Caveat Emptor

Sweet treat or breakfast food?

I’m driving home from work tonight¬† listening to CBC Radio 1 as usual and they tell us about a lawsuit that was recently settled in the US. No biggie, somebody is always suing somebody down there so I’m only half listening. Then my ears pick up the words, “nutella” and “false advertising claims” and I’m suddenly paying attention. Seems like some folks in California got together a bunch of ‘concerned consumers’ to launch a class-action lawsuit against the makers of Nutella for falsely leading them to believe it was a healthy and nutritious thing to eat.

Hmmm. So many things wrong with this I’m actually baffled as to where I should begin. What point to address first? First off it’s ADVERTISING…they use enticing words we want to hear like ‘natural goodness’, ‘holistic’ and ‘organic’ and guess what? They can do this! They also have to put a label and ingredients on the package so the consumer knows exactly what they are getting, what a serving size is considered, if its trans fat or not and so on…

I don’t care what an advertisement in a glassy magazine shows me, or what an ad on TV says, when I go shopping I read labels. I realize not everyone does but I’m stunned that this lawsuit was even brought to a judge.¬† It’s a CHOCOLATE sugary spread up for debate- not something that even remotely looks healthy! You be the judge, do YOU think something with sugar as the very first ingredient on the label is healthy, nutritious and good for you? Is it something a child should have every morning for breakfast? Or maybe just a serving size (1 tbsp by the way) once in a while for a snack?

This isn’t rocket science. This is a gimmick. This is a company doing what it’s supposed to do- sell you something. I believe in this case it’s up to the consumer and these people in this lawsuit to take some responsibility. Put 2 and 2 together. Read the label to see the first two ingredients read: SUGAR AND MODIFIED PALM OIL (We’ve all heard about palm oil in the news lately but that’s another story…) In one serving, again that’s 1 tbsp only, there are 100 calories and 6 grams of fat. There is no Vitamin C or Vitamin A and the protein level is 1 gram! Give the kid a handful of hazelnuts for crying out loud as a snack if you’re looking for protein and nutrition.

My point is, shoppers need to take responsibility for what they are buying and what they are putting into their bodies. Nutella is sugary and tasty; of course it’s going to be marketed for kids and if kids were doing the grocery shopping they would be buying it up! But we adults are doing the grocery shopping, right? If you want to serve Nutella, do it knowing it’s not a healthy and nutritious spread, but rather a tasty and sweet treat we can indulge in. Pair it up with whole wheat or multi-grain bread toasted, some fruit juice and oatmeal for breakfast. Make it work. But don’t think it’s healthy…

I have Nutella in my cupboard. I admit it. It’s freaking delicious too.

One thought on “Caveat Emptor

  1. Well, yes, but they were advertising it as a healthy breakfast food. Not everyone has the savvy to read food labels and advertising does work on the subconscious. So the company needs to take responsibility, too. And in fact the case is settled, you can get some money back if you bought Nutella during a certain time period. I have a recipe on my blog for homemade vegan nutella. It uses coconut milk and unrefined sugar, no refined oils. I’m sure there’s a lot more hazelnuts and less sugar in it proportionately than the commercial version. But I’m clear that it’s a special occasion food and not for breakfast every day.
    Mary@Fit and Fed recently posted..Asian-Style Carrot and Cabbage Slaw

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