The manufacturer of Nutella has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging deceptive advertising. The lawsuit was filed by a San Diego mother who claimed in her lawsuit that the company had falsely advertised its chocolate spread as being healthy and nutritious.
The product in question is the popular Nutella Hazelnut Spread, which has been heavily promoted by Nutella manufacturer Ferrero as being healthy for children. According to the woman who filed the lawsuit, a lot of busy mothers like herself were fooled by the company into believing that the spread was a healthy breakfast for children.
She filed her lawsuit when she found that the spread contained high levels of saturated fats. According to the lawsuit, many consumers like her would not have purchased the product if they had known that the health claims that the company was making were actually false. The lawsuit also made note of the fact that consumption of high levels of saturated fats has been linked to heart disease. The suit also claimed that the product contains high quantities of sugar.
The label on the Nutella bottle informs consumers that there are about 2000 calories in each 2 tablespoon serving of Nutella hazelnut spread, and that half of them come from fats. However, California class-action lawyers often find that manufacturers hide behind these nutritional labels, well aware that many consumers may not read the information that is stuck near the bottom of the jar, or may not interpret the information correctly.
Under the terms of the class action settlement, the company will pay $3 million to all consumers who had purchased the Nutella spread in California between August 1, 2009 and January 23, 2012. Each person will receive $4 per jar of Nutella that was purchased during this period, with a maximum limit of $20 per person.