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Nutella truck: Commercial success despite controversy

May 25, 2018

Nutella truck: Commercial success despite controversy

The public queue for a free breakfast in the rain. Photo: George Fisher.

Nutella staged a morning breakfast for Aucklanders in Aotea Square who say they can make no complaints when the food is free.

Their controversial use of palm oil did not put off enthusiasts queuing in the rain for over 20 minutes waiting for a decorated bagel, pikelet or crumpet.

20-year-old Andrew Battley said: “I justified attending by the fact it was free so I was not actually supporting them financially.”

However his friend, Jonathan Mace said “I mentioned coming here to my friend and he was like, ‘but palm oil’,

I haven’t really thought about how I stand on that,” said Mr Mace.

Nutella claim the vegetable oil used in their hazelnut spread is sustainable palm oil, of which many environmentalists protest is nothing more than a greenwashing scheme.

Environmentalist Eden Wairua-Orme said the awareness of the palm oil issue was not prominent amongst public because of its significance within the food industry and the education around it.

“Palm oil is in almost everything so people turn a blind eye to it. I guess the education about it is really poor and equally people don’t really care unless the consumption impacts them directly,” said Ms Wairua-Orme.

She said there was a fundamental issue in the industry where “they just write vegetable oil so maybe actually labelling it as palm oil” would decrease the issue.

American Jeff Smith said based on the ‘hype’ around the event he thought it would be bigger but that could be expected when its free.

“There was a lot of hype drummed up and it was a small little booth - which I had nothing else to do on Friday morning so it was alright to wait in line to get some free food,” said Mr Smith.

Attendees said they were content with Aotea Square being used for commercial purposes, as long as those profits were coming back to help the public.

“The council members need a lot of money for a lot of things, where are they going to get the money from otherwise?” said Mr Mace.

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