Nutella’s Makers Want To Convince FDA That Chocolate Spread Isn’t Just For Dessert

Image courtesy of ronnyg

When you think of sweet, hazelnut chocolate spread, are you imagining eating it for breakfast or for dessert? If you’re in the latter camp, you agree with the current stance of federal regulators. The makers of Nutella are now trying to make the case, however, that the spread should be considered more of a breakfast item.

Ferrero SpA wants the Food and Drug Administration to reduce Nutella’s serving size from two tablespoons to one, Bloomberg reports, and filed a petition with the agency in 2014 to that effect, asking for it fall into a category with things like jams, jellies, and honey.

At the heart of the matter is the question of how much Nutella people are customarily consuming at one time: Ferrero claims the two-tablespoon serving size on the U.S. label could be confusing and make people think they should use that much on their toast. The FDA sets “reference amounts customarily consumed,” or RACC for 139 categories of food products. That helps determine serving size. Since 1993, the FDA has considered Nutella among “other dessert toppings.” But it should be like jam, Ferrero said in its petition.

“Because Nutella is used in the same manner as jams and jellies, uniformity in RACC values among Nutella, jams, and jellies would enable consumers to make informed nutritional comparisons of these similar products,” Ferrero wrote in its petition.

The FDA wants to find out if that’s true or not, announcing [PDF] that it’s looking to get information and comments “on the appropriate reference amount customarily consumed (RACC) and product category for flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored), and products that can be used to fill cupcakes and other desserts, such as cakes and pastries.”

The FDA says it’s asking for information now because it recently issued a final rule updating certain RACCs — and because of the petition. Starting Nov. 2, the agency will take comments on the issue for 60 days total.

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