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The Food and Drug Administration is asking the public to reflect on an important health question: How much Nutella do you actually eat?

The agency is gathering information on the amount of Nutella that constitutes a reasonable serving size at the behest of Ferrero, the maker of the spread. Ferrero has been petitioning the FDA for the past two years to put Nutella in the same regulatory class as jam or to establish an entirely new category for “nut cocoa-based spreads.”

Currently, Nutella is classified as a dessert topping, like chocolate syrup. That means its labels get slapped with a serving size of 2 tablespoons. Each serving totals 200 calories — half of which are from fat — and packs 21 grams of sugar.

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But the Italian company said the classification is based on an outdated survey of 157 “primarily female” shoppers who said they largely used the product on ice cream. The survey was conducted in 1991.

Ferrero's lawyers cite data in the citizen petition sent to the FDA to rethink Nutella's serving size.
Ferrero’s lawyers cite data in the citizen petition sent to the FDA to rethink Nutella’s serving size. Hogan Lovells

Now, Ferrero said 60 percent of Nutella consumers are slathering the product on toast. The company wants that serving size changed to 1 tablespoon, as is the case with jams and jellies (though similar products like peanut butter have 2-tablespoon servings).

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That change would come with the added benefit of making Nutella look as though it has fewer calories, as well as less sugar and fat, when customers take a quick glance at the nutrition label.

“Consumers may falsely believe they should be applying two tablespoons of Nutella on their bread rather than the one tablespoon that is more customarily consumed,” Ferrero warned in its petition.

The FDA said it recognizes the need for a sweet new category and is taking the first step by inviting public comment.

Respondents have 60 days to count their spoonfuls.

  • I think this company is trying to pull a scam. No way does anyone realistically eat only one teaspoon of this product. It is very popular and people are being deceived. All this not to mention the amount of Palm oil they use which is contributing to the devastation of tropical regions and to the deaths of endangered animals mainly the beautiful Orangutan.

  • Even 2 Tlbsps is not realistic unless adding jam with the spread.
    3 to 4 Tlbsps is more in alignment with actual use. Most people I know. using this even are on the 4,5+ “slather” it on warm.
    Even adding butter or margarine and mallow marshmallo spread.
    This product is more of a desert type. Not a food product such as peanutbutter a food product that can be used for a diabetic. Nuttella is not such a product.
    Needs to be classified as desert product.

    The manufacturer can state serving size 1 to 2 Tlbsp then give the chart as others do. I do not see any problem.

  • Who only uses 1 tablespoon…With sugar as first ingredient it needs to stay 2 tablespoons as a serving size. 50% of Americans are overweight. Make this change and that will surely increase. It’s more about the company wanting to put 100 calories on the label rather than leave the 200 calories now on it.

  • Oh what we’re not supposed to eat whole jar at 1 sitting? Seriously it’s soooo good, who cares about sugar, calorie content…enjoy! I eat it on everything from bread, fruit, crepes, pancakes and spoonfuls!

  • A great example of how the serving size information is indeed just creating confusion (that’s actually why it was put there in the first place). Expressing nutrients values per 100g (i.e. in %) is just better. But that, of course, allow consumers to realize the real amount of fat and sugar in food and to compare products, and companies don’t like that. On the other hand, it also requires Americans to be able to grasp very simple math, and that is not obvious at all

  • Although you are asking about quantities of Nutella.
    I am unable to eat it as I have a severe hazelnut allergy. If people are now spreading it on toast, surely it may be likely to make some people more susceptible to an allergy, if the quantities are larger than the recommended amount.
    Hope this information helps.

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