Science and Tech


The FDA Wants To Know About Your Nutella-Eating Habits

Nutella's creator thinks the chocolate hazelnut spread is labeled incorrectly on store shelves, so the company filed a request to fix it.
Posted at 9:38 PM, Nov 03, 2016

Is Nutella a healthy breakfast spread or a not-so-healthy dessert topping? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to know.

But why is the federal government so interested in your chocolate hazelnut spread-eating experience?

Nutella's creator, the chocolate expert Ferrero Rocher, wants its American jars to more accurately reflect how people consume the product. 

So over the last several years, it's requested that the FDA reconsider Nutella's serving size.

SEE MORE: FDA Letter Says Whole Foods Is Unsanitary And Unacceptable

Right now, the FDA classifies Nutella and other nut-based cocoa spreads as dessert toppings, but Ferrero Rocher says roughly 74 percent of Nutella users eat the product on bread. Therefore it should either be in the "honey, jams and jellies" category or placed in its own. Re-categorizing the product would decrease its serving size.

In May, the FDA required all food companies to label the amount of added sugars in their products. And with a larger serving size comes a bigger sugar number on the label. Ferrero Rocher thinks changing the serving size might increase sales and keep consumers more informed.

But the company's motives might also have something to do with a $3 million class-action lawsuit in 2012 in which a mother felt deceived by Nutella's advertising as a healthy breakfast option. The spread's nutritional value is actually fairly close to a candy bar.

The FDA will be accepting comments through the beginning of January.