Nutella has caused an internet storm this week after the brand's US Twitter account incorrectly said the product was not halal.
The claim was made after a Manchester-based Twitter user asked the company if their products were suitable for a halal diet, to which Nutella responded, "No, they are not halal".
@NutellaUSA are your products halal
— imjustsully #BLM (@imjustsully2) September 12, 2020
The US-based brand was quickly forced to back track after Twitter users jumped to confirm they believed Nutella's products were halal.
"It's just not certified halal", one user wrote, "but it is halal by definition as long as there are no animal by products (aside from dairy) or any alcohol in it".
It's just not certified halal but it is halal by definition as long as there are no animal by products (aside from dairy) or any alcohol in it
— 𝔑𝔞𝔣𝔣𝔶 🖤🍒 (@nafology_) September 14, 2020
The same user later confirmed they had "double checked the ingredients and there's nothing in it that would make it haram. If there was anything hidden, it should be under "natural/artificial flavours" but it doesn't even say that".
Under US and Canadian laws, a halal certification, which confirms the products are suitable for a halal diet, is not required on products that do not include meat or additives.
The US-brand's Twitter account later clarified its original post, telling users "All Nutella sold worldwide is suitable for Halal consumption".
Adding that, "over 90% of the industrial plants producing Nutella are already Halal certified by a third party and we are in the process of certifying the remaining plants. We apologize for the mistake made in our earlier tweet."
Social media users were quick to express relief in response to the second announcement, with one person simply writing, "Phew".
Others said they had experienced heart problems, ranging from skipping beats to heart attacks, after fearing the famous hazelnut chocolate spread was not halal.
me when my heart skipped a beat https://t.co/TpyFRupBZy
— zul (@TONIGHTLFTV) September 14, 2020
almost had a heart attack there thank god https://t.co/0DhqSan1iU
— you kinda dope so i (@nourrmansourrr) September 15, 2020
Several Twitter users, meanwhile, said they planned to continue eating Nutella's products, irrespective of whether the spread was certified halal, with one user claiming he would "eat Nutella even if it had orphan tears as an ingredient".
I will eat nutella even if it had orphan tears as an ingredient https://t.co/Lltt3rZfFU
— Ahmed Almansoori (@Hackmed804) September 14, 2020
However, some users reacted angrily and, even after Nutella claimed all of the US company's products were suitable for a halal diet, said they planned to boycott the chocolate spread producer.
No more Nutella ❌❌❌❌❌❌❌
— Gokf (@Gokf13) September 15, 2020
One user termed the response from the company "unsuccessful", adding that they would "not consume the product and ask Muslim countries to withdraw it until the company clarifies".
The company's response is unsuccessful. I will not consume the product and ask Muslim countries to withdraw it until the company clarifies.
— Reem (@miss_ryomh) September 14, 2020
Meanwhile, several users called for the US-based brand to remove the initial tweet to avoid further confusion.
Others asked the company to learn more about what a halal diet entails and blamed employees who run Nutella's social media accounts for lacking the "proper knowledge" to answer such questions authoritatively.
"This is a typical example of a company's social media account answering a question they don't have proper knowledge about", one user wrote. Adding that, without knowing anything about which foods are suitable for a halal diet, the person running the brand's account "could have said Nutella are not halal certified".
This is a typical example of a company's social media account answering a question they don't have proper knowledge about. They could have said Nutella are not halal certified. I think companies in the UK are much more educated about halal labelling than the US. https://t.co/elpAG7ftT1
— Mohammad Zaheer (@mzaheer88) September 14, 2020
Another user said he wished there was "an international law against chocolate companies giving religious edicts (fatwa)" and asked the chocolate spread producer if it thought it was "the new Muslim scholar council of chocolate?".
I really want an international law against chocolate companies giving religious edicts (fatwa)@NutellaUSA are you the new Muslim scholar council of chocolate?
Why are you telling people what's halal or not? https://t.co/ZL9LzbnlaV
— Hasib Noor (@hasibmn) September 14, 2020