Why Nutella Serving Size Matters
Nutella hazelnut/cocoa spread is currently classified as a dessert topping by the FDA and as such, has a nutrition label serving size of two tablespoons. Its manufacturer, however, would like the spread re-classified as a jam or into a new category of its own. Why? To change the serving size on the label from two tablespoons to one—slashing the sugar and calorie counts listed in half as well.
Peanut butter manufacturers—for whom Nutella is an increasing threat to business—and health groups—which view the request as a deceptive proposal to mislead consumers about nutrition information are against this proposal. According to Ferrero, the company that makes Nutella, the issue is simply related to the “reference amount customarily consumed” (RACC)—the guideline to determine serving sizes listed on labels.
Serving size describes the amount of food people typically consume and are designed to help consumers make comparisons between products. For example, all types of jam have one serving size and all nut butters have another. Ferrero argues that Nutella is primarily spread on bread and toast and should have a one tablespoon serving size. The FDA is expected to make a decision after reviewing the more than 650 comments by consumers weighing in on the proposal.
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