Nutella wants the FDA to change its definition of a “serving.”
Photo via Flickr user Arek Olek
Nutella is basically a spreadable chocolate bar.
Even though it's marketed as a "hazelnut" spread, every two-tablespoon (37 grams) "serving" contains 20 grams of sugar.
But now, Nutella is looking to cut that number in half. No, not by reducing sugar, but by forcing the government to change its definition of a "serving" of Nutella. It's a bold move, and definitely one of the most creative calorie-cutting techniques we've ever heard of.
Under FDA regulation, Nutella is considered a dessert product, meaning that one serving is calculated at two tablespoons. Currently, the mindful consumer looking at nutritional information on the big, brown jar will see that one little serving comes in at a whopping 200 calories.
Now, Ferrero, the chocolate company that makes Nutella, is looking to have its crown jewel classified as a jelly or jam, and thus have serving size reduced to one tablespoon—slicing the calorie count of a serving in half in fell swoop.
According to documents recently released by the FDA, Ferrero has been petitioning for the change for two years. Ferrero even hired a market research firm that confirmed that 74 percent of people who bought Nutella used it as a spreading product and only 2 percent used it as a dessert topping.
They even included National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data to bolster their argument. "The reported mean, median, and mode consumption amounts from this analysis for 'Nutella,' including similar products used as chocolate-flavored hazelnut spreads, were 22.6 grams (about 1 tbsp.), 18 grams (1 tbsp.), and 18 grams (1 tbsp.), respectively."
But the FDA isn't necessarily buying it. Instead, they're asking the American people, who are pretty much experts on sugar consumption, to pitch in an help get to the bottom of this Seinfeld-esque debate over the classification of Nutella.
"We invite interested persons to comment on the appropriate RACC and product category for flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored), and products used as fillings for cupcakes and other desserts, such as cakes and pastries," the FDA wrote. "Please thoroughly explain your reasoning and provide data and other information to support your comments and responses to these questions."
So come on America, it's time to do your patriotic duty and fight for your right to feel less bad about eating a shit-ton of sugar for breakfast.