Just Chew It: Nutella

Owned by Italian chocolate and confectionery manufacturer Ferrero Group, which has worldwide sales of US$8 billion and spends US$1.2 billion a year on advertising.

Ad spend Australia: $11 million

Sport: Commercial partner of Football Australia. Nutella is the official spread of the Qantas Socceroos.

Stars: The Socceroos

Targeting kids: Nutella’s website asks sports parents if their kids are getting ‘tired’ or ‘injured’, or are not eating properly “for optimal sports performance.” Click on yes and a nutrition sheet suggests feeding them Nutella on toast before and after the game to give them energy. In 2008 Nutella was forced to withdraw an ad in the UK aimed at getting mothers to feed their kids Nutella for breakfast. It is also being sued in the USA for misleading advertising.

Ads: Nutella features the Socceroos on its website and used them for its 2010 in-store promotion which delivered ‘fantastic results’ and ‘outstanding sales growth’.

Food Facts: “An essential element of breakfast and a good way to start the day,” according to Nutella’s website, but Nutella is roughly one half sugar and another one-third fat.

Expert Verdict: Choice Food For Kids website says: “Loaded with fat and sugar, Nutella combines the worst aspects of peanut butter (too much fat) and jam (too much sugar) in one product.” It gives Nutella three red lights: for fat, saturated fat and sugar.