Nutella in Croatia Is Equal in Quality as in Western Europe, EU Claims

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Marie-Paule Benassi, head of the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumer Protection at the European Commission, said at a roundtable on consumer rights held in Zagreb that controversy over the difference in the quality of Nutella was primarily the result of different recipes used in production, as well as the tradition and consumer habits, reports Večernji List on November 12, 2018.

Over the last few years, different studies in some EU member states have shown that there are differences in the composition and characteristics of the same brands, mainly between the markets of eastern and western members. In the Commission’s view, these results are not comparable because of different ways of collecting samples, testing and interpretation.

At a panel Consumer Rights Dialogue held in Zagreb and organised by the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts and the European Commission Representation in Croatia, great attention was paid to the problem of dual quality products on European markets. During the discussion, the controversial case of differences in Nutella quality was also covered.

“We have discussed the issue with Ferrero, the owner of the Nutella brand, and they explained to us that they have two recipes. The original recipe, the one from Italy, is available in all EU member states except in Germany. They have a different recipe,” Benassi said, asked about the issue of dual quality of products on the European market. “Ferrero is now working on changing the recipes to bring the Italian recipe closer to all consumers. In Croatia, the original Italian recipe will be available, as in France and other member states,” added Benassi.

She also noted that there was no exact definition of quality in the European Union and that much depends on the tradition and taste of consumers. She noted that there is a broad body of laws in the European Union which protect consumers’ rights.

A report presented by Croatia’s MEP Biljana Borzan in September showed that the quality of some products, including Nutella, varies depending on whether they are sold on the markets of older or newer members of the European Union.

In April, the European Commission proposed a new agreement, also known as the New Deal, to ensure the same standards for all European consumers. It published a set of guidelines for the implementation of the EU food and consumer rights directives on dual- quality.

The EU consumer laws prohibit unfair trading practices such as making customers believe that certain products are the same in all countries because, for example, they are sold in the same packaging under the same name, although they are substantially different in terms of composition and characteristics.

“The single market should not be a market of products of different quality. All member states should have products of the same quality if it is the same product,” said Ivona Bačelić Grgić, head of the Trade Department at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

Ivana Soić, Assistant Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, said that Croatia would soon launch a website specializing in consumer rights.

For more on Croatia’s position within the EU, click here.


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