A class action lawsuit filed against Nutella for promoting the hazelnut spread as a healthy choice has been settled in court.
The case originally sparked critics to laugh at the seemingly outlandish charges. The lawsuit filed charged that Nutella had promoted itself as a health breakfast food when, in reality, it is the near equivalent of a candy bar in gooey spread form.
Athena Hohenberg, a San Diego mother of a 4-year-old daughter, said she "was shocked to learn" that Nutella "was the next best thing to a candy bar," after seeing commercials which suggested it was a healthy breakfast option.
To the surprise of many, Hohenberg won the class action suit with a $3.05 million dollar settlement. As part of the suit, the Ferrero company which produces Nutella was also forced to change the way the product is advertised on television and on the company's site. $2.5 million will be dispersed amongst other consumers who were fooled by not reading the nutrition label.
"Anyone who bought Nutella between Jan. 1, 2008 and Feb. 3, 2012, (or Aug. 1, 2009 and Jan. 23, 2012 in California) can file a claim," ABC reported.
The surprise wasn't a happy one for fans of the product who suggested that the settlement only encouraged stupidity.
"The triumph of stupidity. Didn't bother to check the 'Nutritional Information' label, huh?" Spence questioned on the ABC blog site. "Doing that can help inform you of what you ought to know about the product."
Others, however, pointed out that Nutella had been deceptive with their advertising practices.
"Whereas I've always known Nutella isn't a nutritional part of any breakfast, I've always wondered about their truth in advertising," a Hint of Cocoa posted. "I'm glad someone took them to task for false advertising. Granted, I don't think she was the smartest woman on the planet for thinking it was a healthy breakfast choice for her children, but at least they had to answer for their deceptive practices."