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Maker of Nutella settles deceptive ad suit

Maker of Nutella settles deceptive ad suit

Ferrera USA will pay $3 million to end claims it deceived consumers

It’s chocolaty. It’s gooey. It’s nutty, and toddlers love it. There is nothing about that description of Nutella that should lead any reasonable person to believe the sweet treat is anything more than junk food.

But apparently, Athena Hohenberg thought Nutella was a health food and fed it to her young daughter. However, when the California woman stumbled back into reality and discovered the chocolate spread was nothing more than, well, chocolate spread, she sued the maker, Ferrera USA, claiming deceptive advertising.

In her suit, which she filed in February 2011, Hohenberg said she was “shocked to learn” that Nutella was “the next best thing to a candy bar.” Hohenberg said that TV commercials for Nutella promoted the spread as a healthy breakfast. She pointed out, however, that only a few tablespoons contains 200 calories, 11 grams of fat and 21 grams of sugar. Hohenberg said she filed the suit, seeking class action status, to prevent Ferrera from continuing to promote Nutella as a health food.

Despite criticism for her ignorance over the health benefits of the product, Hohenberg won a moral victory yesterday when she reached a settlement agreement with Ferrera for $3.05 million—most of which will go to consumers.

Read more about the suit and the settlement on ABC News.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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