'Choco' need not contain chocolate, judge rules

Summary

A suit filed against Delhaize by Nutella, makers of the famous chocolate spread, was unsuccessful as the court ruled that “choco” doesn’t actually have to contain chocolate

Victory for Delhaize

Delhaize may call its chocolate-flavoured spread “choco”, even though it contains no chocolate, a Brussels commercial court has ruled. The case was brought against the supermarket chain by Ferrero, the makers of Nutella.

Ferrero complained that Delhaize was advertising the hazelnut spread as choco, implying the presence of chocolate. The company argued that this was unfair competition against the more expensive Nutella, which does contain chocolate. Ferrero was demanding a fine of up to €100,000.

The court followed the reasoning of Delhaize, which is that choco is a separate concept from chocolate, does not imply the presence of chocolate and is simply a way of describing the taste of the product. There is a legal definition for chocolate, but not for choco.

A second claim by Ferrero was also rejected by the court. The company complained that Delhaize’s advertisements stressing the absence of palm oil in its spread was a direct attack on Nutella, which contains the ingredient. Delhaize publicity claims that palm oil is less healthy and less environmentally friendly than other ingredients. The court ruled that there was no evidence to show Delhaize’s claims were not true, so they could not be prohibited.

Photo courtesy Delhaize

Belgian chocolate

With more than 2,100 chocolate shops across the country and one of the highest chocolate consumption rates in the world, Belgium has a global and long-standing reputation as one of the world’s best chocolate producers.
Praline - The praline, originally a simple grilled almond or hazelnut covered in chocolate, was invented in 1912 by the Belgian chocolatier Jean Neuhaus in his shop in Saint Hubertus Royal Gallery.
Number one - Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading chocolate producer. It is based in Lebbeke, East Flanders, and operates the world’s largest chocolate factory there.
Chocolatiers - Other famous Belgian chocolate brands are Godiva, Pierrre Marcolini, Neuhaus, Côte d’Or, Guylian, Daskalidès and Leonidas.
1 883

Côte d’Or factory opens in Brussels

9

kilos of chocolate consumed annually per Belgian on average

1

million euro chocolate exports per year