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Entries in Athena Hohenberg (2)

Sunday
Apr292012

Nutella: Consumer Class Action Settlement

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two moms took a big food corporation to court over false advertising and won their case — and now you can get a cut of it.

Their goal was to get the maker of Nutella to admit that, contrary to its ads, the product is no more healthy than a candy bar.

Laura Rude-Barbato, mother of three took the maker of Nutella to court and won. Athena Hohenberg, a San Diego mother of a 4-year-old daughter also took the company to court.

Rude-Barbato said their television ad which claimed that “Nutella is made with simple, quality ingredients like hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of coco,” was false.

“I thought it was at least as nutritious as peanut butter if not more and that’s the impression I got from the advertisement. I thought it had health benefits and it clearly doesn’t,” she said.

After watching the ads, Rude-Barbato was  shocked to discover that what she had been feeding her children wasn’t healthy at all.

In fact, just two tablespoons of Nutella contains 200 calories, 21 grams of sugar and 11 grams of fat.

“I felt duped,” said Rude-Barbato.

In Hohenberg’s suit, she claimed that she “was shocked to learn” that Nutella “was the next best thing to a candy bar.”

The company website still asserts: “when used in moderation with complementary foods, Nutella® is a quick and easy tool to encourage kids to eat whole grains, such as whole wheat toast.”

Rude-Barbato fought back for truth in advertising and the maker of Nutella, Fererro USA awarded her $3.5 million — that’s anywhere from $4 to $20 per person.

Any consumer 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.

To find out more about the consumer class action settlement click here.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr262012

After Suit, Nutella Drops Health Claims

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It’s hard to imagine that there are people who might confuse Nutella–a gooey, chocolaty spread laden with sugar, palm oil and hazelnuts — with a health food. But apparently that’s exactly what Athena Hohenberg, a San Diego mother of a 4-year-old daughter, did.

Last  February,  Hohenberg sued Ferrero USA, Inc., the makers of Nutella, for false advertising. In her suit, she claimed that she “was shocked to learn” that Nutella “was the next best thing to a candy bar.”

She argued that TV ads falsely promoted Nutella as a healthy breakfast option, while omitting the fact that a few tablespoons contains 200 calories, 11 grams of fat (3.5 grams saturated), and 21 grams of sugar. She sought an order preventing Ferrero from marketing Nutella as “healthy,” “balanced nutrition,” and said her goal was to pursue a class-action suit.

Hohenberg got all sorts of flack for her apparent nutritional naiveté, but she won.

The suit has been settled for $3.05 million, $2.5 million of which will be divided among consumers.  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.

Not that they’ll get rich:  Consumers can receive up to $4 per jar of Nutella that they purchased during the specified time period, with a maximum allowance of $20 per household. But Ferrero also agreed to modify the Nutella label and certain marketing statements about the product, create new television ads and change their website.

So now consumers can take their winnings, buy more Nutella, and know for sure they’re not eating tofu.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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