US government asks: How much Nutella do you eat?

This picture shows jars of Nutella on a shelf at a market in San Francisco, California, on August 18, 2014Image copyright
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One tablespoon or two? Nutella fans are being asked how much they eat at a time

The US food regulator is asking Nutella fans how big a portion they eat, in a row over the average size of serving of the sweet spread.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) went public after Nutella’s makers asked for it to be reclassified.

It currently classes the chocolate and hazelnut spread as a dessert topping, with a serving size of two tablespoons.

Parent company Ferrero wants Nutella bracketed with jam and honey, with a serving size of one tablespoon.

The company says the difference is important as it dictates the nutritional data on the product’s label, which influences shoppers.

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Two tablespoons of Nutella contain 200 calories – about the same as two slices of bread. The idea that people use two tablespoons comes from the 1990s, when the spread was a popular ice-cream topping – but Ferrero says it is usually eaten on toast nowadays in smaller amounts.

In response, the FDA is gathering comments online about how much “nut cocoa-based spread” fans are eating at a time.

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Nutella’s makers say the gooey spread is mostly enjoyed on bread or toast

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Nutella’s makers think the spread’s “official” portion size is making it look bad next to alternatives like jam

In a survey of 722 mothers who buy Nutella, Ferrero found 74% ate it on toast or sandwiches. About 14% said they ate it on its own.

In the UK and other countries, Nutella jars list a portion as 15g – or one tablespoon.

Even if it was reclassified, Nutella would still be twice as calorific as most jams, which contain around 50 calories per tablespoon.

US government asks: How much Nutella do you eat?

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