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The Controversy Behind Customising Your Nutella

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  • The Controversy Behind Customising Your Nutella

    We are not affiliated to Nutella in any way prior to the writing and posting of this article. All opinions expressed are those of the author. Nutella subsequently responded to this post after it was posted on their Facebook page.


    Nutella in Singapore

    Following in the footsteps of beverage giant Coca-Cola, Nutella, a popular form of chocolate spread and long a staple on the breakfast menu in almost every household, decided to launch its own customisation campaign where customers are able to have their own names printed in place of the original and iconic Nutella logo.

    Nutella officially launched its campaign in Southeast Asia in Singapore within the contours of Bugis+ atrium where customers can get their names printed at a specialised booth from 7 - 13 September 2015. (It cost only $5 during the event.)

    A peek into the event can be found in a video posted on their Facebook page and embedded below:

    After which, you can head over to YourNutella.com to have your customised names printed and delivered through snail mail.

    There are also news of such specialised promotional events at selected, participating supermarkets for fans to get their own labels.

    Nutella Going Nuts?

    However, the worldwide campaign launched by Nutella has attracted its fair share of controvery after it was reported by CBC that Nutella refused to print the name of a six-year-old girl in Toronto on a personalised jar of its ubiquitous hazelnut spread.

    She is called Isis Redbanks, and she was excited about it after her mother came across the promotional event but was later informed by a company representative that they would not print her daughter’s name because Isis is on its list of banned words.

    Sobbing, this was what Redbanks had to say, "It made me a little sad, because my name is really important to me and people go, like, 'Ew, I don't like her name.' The family, as a result, has vowed to boycott the company’s products.

    A similar case occurred in Australia. Is Nutella being too nutty here?



    Other Controversies: Use of Palm Oil & Environmental Concerns

    There have long been concerns over the environmental impact Ferrero, the giant Italian chocolate group that makes Nutella, with its Nutella products selling like hot cakes. The Guardian reported 6 months ago that France’s ecology minister is urging fans to stop consuming the product as it is contributing to deforestation “because it is made with palm oil” where oil palms have replaced trees.

    And the interesting issue is, he’s not alone. As with every other popular product on this planet, there have always exist detractors and a simple Google search with a phrase like “do we need to avoid Nutella” brings up numerous entries why Nutella should be banned etc.

    Allergen Information of Nutella:

    Introduced in 1964 by Italian company Ferrero, the sweetened hazelnut cocoa spread has come a long way. According to Wikipedia, its founder Pietro Ferrero owned a bakery in Alba, Piedmont which was an area known for the production of hazelnuts.

    Unfortunately for people allergic to nuts, this delicious chocolate spread is out of the league for them, but fret not. There have been official answers to these issues by Nutella as addressed on its Australian FAQ page. (You have to check your respective country-specific websites for further clarification.)

    Here are some questions that Nutella answered on its Australian website: http://www.nutella.com.au/faqs/

    What allergens does Nutella contain?

    Nutella contains hazelnut, milk and soy.

    Nutella does not contain egg, wheat or sesame. The nut we use in our Australian factory is hazelnut.

    Do you need to avoid Nutella if you have a nut allergy?

    If you have an allergy to hazelnuts, you need to avoid Nutella as it is made with hazelnuts. If you have another type of nut allergy, you only need to avoid Nutella if you have been advised to do so by your doctor or other health professional.



    Does Nutella have preservatives and artificial colours?

    No. Nutella is free of preservatives and artificial colours.

    For the ones looking to see whether Nutella is healthier than peanut butter spreads or jam, or whether it makes a decent breakfast with slices of toast and low-fat milk, check out this article by FoodWatch Australia.

    People allergic to nuts can check out Yummly’s collection of recipes titled Chocolate Spread without Nuts recipes.

    The Immense Popularity of Nutella

    Other than being a breakfast staple where online sources quote that one jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds, the huge popularity of Nutella can be seen in its use as an ingredient in the baking of donuts, breads and buns. GoodFood Australia writes about the Nutella Frenzy in Australia.

    There’s even a day dedicated to Nutella which is called World Nutella Day which was created, according to Nutella’s official website, by Sara Rosso, an Italo-American blogger and Nutella® lover, who decided to dedicate one day of the year to her favourite spread: so, on February 5th 2007, all Nutella® lovers were called to unite.

    Once again, Nutella is not without controversy after TIME magazine reported in 2013 that “World Nutella Day” is to “cease and desist” by its manufacturer Ferrero.

    It’s so popular, well-known and protected that a French court told a family that they cannot name their child Nutella according to The Metro UK. Brand name protection, infringement of legal naming rights or pure nuttiness on naming your child after a favourite breakfast staple? We can’t identify which emerges as the main issue.
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