This October, the Chilean Supreme Court issued a decision confirming that the sale of chocolates in the shape of Santa Claus is contrary to the recently enacted food labeling law that forbids the use of commercial hooks to draw the attention of children to consume high calorie food.

In an effort to curb child obesity, in mid-2016 the Nutritional Composition of Food Law (Law No. 20.606) went into effect in Chile. This law modified the Chilean Sanitary Code by imposing restrictions on offering, labeling and advertising packaged food to discourage the consumption of products high in sugar, saturated fat, sodium and/or calories by children under 14 years old. Among other things, the amendments prohibit the use of "commercial hooks", such as gifts, contests, and games to induce the consumption of these products by children. The health authorities had recently fined a local seller for the sale of Santa-shaped chocolates. As an effort to have the fine lifted, he subsequently appealed to the judicial authorities arguing that the law had been wrongly interpreted and applied in this case. However, the Supreme Court finally determined that shaping a high calorie product in the form of Santa Claus constitutes a commercial hook made specifically to draw the attention of children. With this decision, the questions on the applicability of the law to figure-shaped candy is resolved and it is likely to affect the sale of other popular holiday-themed food products, such as bunny-shaped chocolate and Halloween candy.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.