PS12661 - Italian Competition Authority: advertising and sales of the Hot Chip Challenge interrupted


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The Authority has taken steps against the company distributing a potentially hazardous product, especially for young consumers who are also more likely to accept the challenges launched on social media.

The Italian Competition Authority has concluded proceedings - with commitments - against the company DAVE’s s.r.l., the distributor of the “Hot Chip Challenge” product. Specifically, the commitments require DAVE’s s.r.l. not to continue marketing and advertising the item and to remove it from sale.

The company has been distributing the “Hot Chip Challenge”, a potato-based snack with ingredients which make it particularly spicy, encouraging young people in particular - in a type of challenge - to consume it without drinking, to resist its spiciness.

The Authority considered that the commitments presented by the company are suitable to put an end to the illegitimacy of the commercial practice which was questioned in the communication initiating the investigation, that is, the creation of a challenge aimed, principally, at adolescent consumers (also disseminated through social media) and the inadequacy of the information regarding the risks to health associated with the use of the product. Furthermore, the Italian Competition Authority questioned the lack of relevant information about a food product that could endanger the health and safety of consumers, especially children and adolescents.

With this decision, the Authority has successfully intervened to protect younger and more easily influenced consumers from messages that encourage them to eat potentially hazardous products, exploiting their propensity to accept challenges launched on social media.

Rome, 4 March 2024