Complaint Desk

An Open Letter To The Woman Who Sued Nutella Because the Spread Isn't Healthy

Dear Athena Hohenberg,

I'm sorry to address you in such an adversarial tone, but I see no way around it. Your recent class action lawsuit filed against Ferrero, the company that manufactures the deliciously chocolate-like, hazelnut spread Nutella, is the saddest case of consumer idiocy I've seen in a while. It must be addressed.

I get that labels are misleading and the public is generally figured for fools by the food industry, but come on, really: You thought Nutella was healthy? And do you think your legal action will save unsuspecting parents from poisoning their children? And by the way, did you give you kids any orange juice today? Just so you know, stuff has the same amount of sugar per serving as Nutella.

I'm having a hard time figuring out why the whole "part of a well balanced breakfast" thing threw you so far off you'd put your children's lives in danger with a condiment. It's not a new tagline. I remember seeing the same words as a child some 25 years ago attached to a box of Honeycomb cereal. I didn't really think that those little hexagons of saccharin processed wheat flour were healthy for me. I just thought they fucking tasted good.

Thanks to your suit, everyone who's purchased a jar of Nutella over the past few years is entitled to $4. People who administered a tablespoon of Nutella every day like a spreadable vitamin can claim up to five jars' worth of egregious mismarketing for a whopping total if $20. (Meanwhile, some lawyers no doubt have enough cash to buy Nutella, Skippy and Jif and turn it into a really delicious-sounding LLP).

I'd have joined your suit myself, but I never had a taste for the stuff. I was too busy sitting in a fast-food drive-though convincing myself that some of the "lighter" menu items might be good for me. And when I checked the nutritional information and realized that in addition to tasting like crap the food wasn't really that healthy, I blamed the only person responsible for the misunderstanding: me.