Ferrero appears set to be barred from selling its Kinder chocolate eggs in Chile.
Regulations to come into force next week will forbid producers from including toys in the packaging of food products, with the Chilean government considering these a “hook” for children to consume lines that have high levels of sugar or calories.
The company is willing to fight the legislation in Chilean and international courts. “Ferrero received with consternation the announcement of a high member of the Health Ministry of Chile, regarding sales of the product Kinder Sorpresa, which will be banned from being sold in Chile from 26 June,” it said.
The law is part of a package regulating food labelling and advertising, especially products aimed at children. It states labels must clarify excess of critical nutrients in foods that are high in sugar, sodium, saturated fats or calories. The products are not permitted to use in their advertising, labels or packaging any elements that attract children who are under 14-years-old.
“This public health policy will help consumers to make a better informed decision about the food they choose. It also protects children from overexposing to advertising of food with high levels of sodium, sugar, saturated fats and calories,” Dr. Lorena Rodríguez, chief of the nutrition and foods department in Chile’s Health Ministry told just-food. “With this new regulation, along with other sanitary measures, we expect the population to diminish consumption of foods with excess of nutrients which are harmful for their health, starting in early childhood.”
Ferrero insisted the toys inside Kinder Sorpresa are “an essential and integral part of the product, which constitutes a single unit”. It said: “The surprise is the essence itself of the chocolate egg, and in no case can be considered a hook for its consumption.”
The Italy-based group added it “reserves the right to activate national and international institutions to obtain a legal solution to this situation, which affects the reputation of one of its most popular and better-quality products”.
According to Chile’s Health Ministry, one in every three children under the age of six in the country suffers are overweight. They have also pointed to studies that show over 60% of the population does not understand the current nutritional labels in place.