In 2008, the importer of Nutella chocolate spread gave out 91 tons of the product for free. This was not a publicity stunt or advertising promotion, but the result instead of a class action suit against the Israeli importer, Lehman Schlissel, who had reduced the size of the jars of chocolate spread from 400 grams to only 350 grams without informing consumers - or lowering prices.
Lehman Schlissel then began selling 385-gram jars, advertising that they included an extra 10% of the Nutella - for free.
Lehman Schlissel carried on this way for two years, until consumers rose up and protested. The compromise that settled the class action suit required the firm to sell 337,000 jars of Nutella with a weight of 440 grams, and 155,000 jars of 825 grams instead of the 385 gram and 750 gram jars respectively - for the same price as the smaller jars.
Nutella is the best-selling chocolate spread in Israel, with a 43% share of the market. The second-best seller is Hashahar Haoleh, with a 41% share. Elite's "Cow" chocolate spread has a 10% market share.
Lehman Schlissel said: "The comparison is not 'apples against apples,' since the weight of the jars in different countries is not the same. In addition, the differences in price are the result of transportation expenses for [bringing] the product to Israel, which requires transport in cooled containers. In addition, the kashrut approval process makes the final price of the product more expensive."