Nutella Settles Lawsuit Over Deceptive Health Claims

Staff Writer
Makes of the chocolate spread could pay up to $3 million to customers unaware that Nutella is unhealthy

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Forbes beat us to the punchline: "Nutella Case Proves Stupid People Can Have Smart Lawyers." After customers sued Nutella's maker, Ferrero, for what they called "deception in advertising" — the company claimed that the chococlate-hazelnut treat is a healthy breakfast — they may walk away with $3 million.

Mother Nature Network reports that the mom who first sued, Athena Hohenburg, was "shocked" to discover that the spread was unhealthy, the suit states. The goal of the class-action suit was to stop the maker from advertising its 200-calorie per serving spread as a healthy breakfast option. Now, she and others in the suit have been awarded $2.5 million to be divided up. Anyone who bought Nutella between Jan. 1, 2008 and Feb. 3, 2012, can file a claim, reports MNN.

Granted, wide-eyed critics can't believe that people are getting paid for not understanding nutrition labels. Says Melissa Breyer on MNN, "Why she never simply pivoted her wrist to reveal the nutrition label on the back and see its tell-all display of sugar and fat? We may never know." Still, Nutella's angle of pouring the chocolate sauce on healthier options, i.e. whole-wheat toast, may not have been such a smart idea in retrospect. Perhaps the company thought no one would believe such health claims that chocolate sauce is good for you. Says Matthew Herper o' Forbes, "'My statement was so transparently false that you should have known I was lying' is not much of a defense."

Watch the ad below and tell us: Did you think that Nutella could actually be healthy?