Friday, April 27, 2012

Nutella Consumer Class Action Settlements

For those of you who've read this blog over the years, you know that I have become quite well acquainted with Nutella. Since I first learned about this tasty confection, it has become a staple in my arsenal of sweets.

That's why I stopped in my tracks when I first saw the commercial touting Nutella as something healthy for kids.

Seriously. I love the stuff. But healthy? How did that language make it past their lawyers? I didn't think it would be long before the Federal Trade Commission pulled the ad. Especially since the purpose of the ads was clearly to get mothers to feed their kids Nutella.

I was shocked that the ads continued. Clearly the FTC is very busy and can't monitor them all. Or maybe it saw nothing wrong with them. I don't know. I haven't read everything pertaining to the two lawsuits, but my understanding is that the FTC never got involved.

It's hard to believe that anyone could really believe that Nutella is healthy. Clearly it's insanely delicious, but so are cookies and chocolate cake. Just because someone decides to run an ad saying that cookies and chocolate cake are healthy, doesn't make it true and those claims should not be relied on. However, companies should not make false or misleading claims to the public to sell products.

According to the class action settlement website, Ferrero has agreed to modify the Nutella label, modify certain marketing statements about Nutella, create new television ads, and change the Nutella website.

Many of us Nutella fans in the United States may be eligible for part of the settlements as well. From what I've read, it does not appear that we need to have been duped by any claims. Below is an edited excerpt from the settlements website.

~ Who is included in the Settlements? 

Anyone who purchased Nutella in any state other than California, between January 1, 2008 and February 3, 2012 and anyone who purchased Nutella in California between August 1, 2009 and January 23, 2012. If you purchased Nutella for resale or distribution, you are not included in the classes.

~ What Do the Settlements Provide?

Class Members can receive up to $4 per jar of Nutella that they purchased during the stated time periods. Class Members who purchased multiple jars of Nutella during the time periods can submit a claim for up to five jars for a maximum award of $20 per household. If the value of the claims of the Nationwide Class exceeds $2,500,000, or the value of the claims of the California Class exceeds $550,000, then payments will be reduced proportionally.

~ How to Get a Payment?

You MUST submit a claim form to receive payment. You can submit a Claim Form online or download a claim form and submit via U.S. Mail. The deadline to submit a Claim Form is July 5, 2012.

I haven't decided if I'm going to file a claim or not. My multiple purchases of Nutella over the years have been well documented by this blog with the help of World Nutella Day.  I guess the settlement money could be put to good use to buy more Nutella. I know it's not healthy, but it sure is good.

*Updated 3/17/2015* I received the Nutella consumer class action settlement check. Take a look at the new post here!

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Nance said...

Wow. I even wrote a post regarding the silliness of Nutella's claim that it is "part of a healthy breakfast." I filed. Will it stop me from eating Nutella? No. Do I think they should have been called to account for it? YES.

Next food claim lawsuit has to be for Isaly's chipped-chopped ham, which claims on its commercials in our area that "chipping makes it fresher." Wha-at? How can thinly slicing a processed lunchmeat make it FRESHER? Don't even make me go into the science behind the impossibility of all THAT. Sigh.

Lisa said...

nance - I do remember your post! I'm glad that they were called out for the ad too. Never heard of that ham. They might have a class action against them soon too! I guess the companies figure that saying what they want is worth it even if they have to pay out later. The Nutella settlement is so small and they are probably going to get the money back in sales anyway.

Disclaimer: Nothing stated on Anali's First Amendment should be construed as legal advice. No attorney client relationships have been formed on this blog. © 2006-2016. Anali's First Amendment/Lisa C. Johnson. All rights reserved. Do not use writing or photographs without permission.