Which? complains about chocolate spread adWe believe it could mislead parents

21 September 2007

 

A spoon of sugar

Which? has complained to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) about an advert for Nutella chocolate spread.

We believe the advert is misleading to parents as it promotes the spread as part of a balanced breakfast for children.

The ad, which features primary school children, confusingly claims that each jar of Nutella ‘contains 52 hazelnuts, the equivalent of a glass of skimmed milk and some cocoa.’

What it fails to mention is that the spread is high in sugar and fat and that, in fact, the main ingredients are sugar and vegetable oil.

Ingredients

Which? chief policy advisor Sue Davies said: ‘This is yet another example of the way that some food companies persist in marketing foods aimed at children irresponsibly.

You would have to eat a whole jar of Nutella just to get the claimed ‘equivalent of a glass of skimmed milk’. That would also mean consuming over 100g of sugar, even for the smallest jar.

‘We think it is misleading to tell people about the hazelnuts, skimmed milk and cocoa, but not mention that it’s more than half sugar!’

In its complaint to the ASA Which? says the advert is misleading and therefore in breach of the Television Advertising Standards Code.

Which? also considers that the advert gives a false impression of the nutritional and health benefits of the spread as a whole.

An Advertising Standards Authority spokeswoman said the watchdog had launched an investigation following around 20 complaints.

Complaints

'The nature of the complaints is that hazelnuts and milk aren't the main ingredients,' she said.

Ferrero said in a statement: 'We do not believe the Nutella ad is misleading as eaten in the recommended portion size Nutella, which is a hazelnut rather than chocolate spread, can be a good component of a balanced breakfast.

'Our recommended serving of Nutella is 15g, which is clearly communicated on our packaging and website.

'Per 15g portion Nutella contains 80 kcals, 4.7g fat (2.6 monounsaturates, 0.5g polyunsaturates, 1.6g saturates) and 8.3g sugar.'

It added: 'In fact, the amount of fat and sugar in Nutella is less than many other typical breakfast spreads such as peanut butter, jam and marmalade and using Nutella removes the need for butter or alternative fat spread.'

Nutrition

The nutrition for Nutella per 100g:

  • Carbohydrates: 56g
  • Sugar: 55g
  • Fat: 31g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 17.3g
  • Saturated fat: 10.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 3.4g