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Beyond A Dessert Topping: Ferrero Seeks Reclassification To Reduce Fat And Calories Per Nutella Serving

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The U.S. consumers have started to use their Nutella on toast instead of as an ice cream topping, as it used to be. As a result, the federal government could change its view on how the dessert is categorized.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently analyzing a petition on reducing Nutella's serving size from two tablespoons to one, as Americans seem to be using it more to spread it on their bread or pancakes in the morning and eat it as breakfast. The decision would cut in half the calories and the fat people currently see on the brand label.

Ferrero is the closely held maker of Nutella, and its product is now used as a breakfast replacement for butter and syrup on pancakes, or combined with bread and fruit. The Italian company created a petition in FDA's attention in 2014, in order for the serving size to be changed to one tablespoon, which would make it similar to honey, jelly and jam.

This petition made the agency research the manner in which the product is, in fact, consumed. From intended use to typical consumption amounts, everything is under analysis at the moment. Should FDA agree with the company, the consumers will only see half of the 200 calories and 11 grams of fat on the label. There are, currently, other countries classifying Nutella as a one-tablespoon serving, among which the U.K., Australia and France, according to the Ferrero reports.

A Change In The Consumption Behavior

The FDA is the agency in the U.S. having the responsibility to establish the reference amounts of the consumers' intakes of different products, for as many as 139 food categories, varying from cookies to coffee and tofu.

Back in 1993, Nutella was a product falling under the "other dessert toppings" category. However, more recently, the product has seemed to change its purpose.

In 2012, in no less than 74 percent of the times, Nutella was used on bread, and — as it turns out — no more than 2 percent of its customers served as an ice cream topping. The change is significant as in 1991, 27 percent of the sweet's use was on ice cream, and only 8 percent of the customers used to spread it on bread.

The reclassification is crucial for the way the product is perceived by public, and it is all the more important as, according to the market research company Euromonitor, 70 percent of the market share for chocolate spreads was held by Nutella in 2013.

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