Nutella is used all over the world. People like putting it on desserts, such as ice-cream, or even spread it on a piece of toast for breakfast. It is more or less considered as a good snack by a lot of people. However, the U.S. government has shown interest in the chocolaty topping as far as serving size is concerned.
The US FDA or the Food and Drug Administration want to find out about the amount of Nutella that can be considered as too much for a snack. The FDA is planning to acquire the public’s input. Back in May, the overarching policy for serving size was updated by the FDA. The update was done after collecting as well as analyzing data for more than 2 years. The data covered nutrition, public comments, and the survey sent out to determine eating habits. However, the government was asked by Ferrero Rocher, the Nutella manufacturing company, to make a few changes in the policy.
Due to the fact that nut-based cocoa spreads, including Nutella, are referred by the government as toppings for dessert, the packaging of these products needs to have higher serving sizes listed on them. But it is being argued by Ferrero that Nutella isn’t being primarily used by US citizens as just normal topping for cookies, ice-creams or other sorts of desserts. Nutella is also being used in sandwiches and on toast. That is why Ferrero wants a new category to be created by the FDA or at least consider categorizing Nutella as jelly, jam or honey.
Due to the policy being updated, food companies were forced to label the content of added sugars present in the manufactured products along with the percentage of daily value of the said sugars present in each serving.
Nutella, being in the “dessert topping” category had to list 2 tablespoons as a serving size. However, it would have to list 1 tablespoon as a serving size under the “honey, jams, and jellies” category. Corresponding to the service size, the amount of “added sugar” would drop as well. This single difference in categories could easily have an effect in making Nutella be more appealing to customers who happen to make decisions based on the “added sugars” label present on food items.
A survey was sent to the government by Nutella. The survey included a total of 722 mothers who bought the item in a span of 3 months. The survey showed that about 74% of their usage had to do with Nutella being spread on toast or in sandwiches. Only 2% of usage was as a topping for ice-cream. A scientific consulting firm was also hired by the company in order to analyze the government nutrition data (from the years 2003 to 2012). The firm saw that a total of 47% of Nutella was used for spreading on toast when compared to the 17% of it being used on cookies. Nutella was being consumed on its own by approximately 14% of the population.
The letter that the company sent to the government states that the promotion and advertising of Nutella is linked to people eating a healthy breakfast with the chocolate-product being used as a complementary spread to be consumed with fruits, whole grains, and dairy products.
Only time will tell if FDA approves of Ferrero’s request. According to the manufacturer, other countries, including France, UK, and Australia are already using the one-tablespoon serving size for Nutella. The company believes that the US FDA should follow suit.