Illinois plaintiff Anita Harris has lodged a new lawsuit against Kellogg’s for allegedly misleading consumers about the amount of strawberries in its Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts.
This is the second time in the past 12 months that the product has been dragged into court.
In a very similar suit in September last year, plaintiff Kelvin Brown claimed the images of fresh strawberries used in Pop-Tart advertising were misleading.
He claimed the representations of strawberries led him to believe the fruit filling was made from only strawberries, however, it also contains dried pears, apples and a synthetic colourant called Red 40 dye. All of these components are reportedly listed under the ‘contains 2% or less’ heading on the ingredients list.
$13m settlement in sugary cereal suit
It also comes hot on the heels of a $13m settlement ending claims the breakfast cereal giant had mislead consumers with nutritious statements like ‘heart healthy’ and ‘lightly sweetened’ on three of its cereals that in fact, contained excessive amounts of sugar.
The latest suit against its Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts contents Kellogg’s is allegedly guilty of 'negligent representation, fraud and unjust enrichment' by exaggerating the amount of strawberries in online promotions and on the product’s packaging. It claims the flavour ‘refers to compounds extracted from strawberries used solely for taste, without their nutritional value’.
Harris alleges Kellogg’s is taking advantage of Americans’ desire to eat healthier, adding consumers tend to rely on front-of-packaging information to make the purchasing decision.
‘Based on a quantitative estimate and analysis of the filling, it appears to or may even contain more non-strawberry fruit than strawberry ingredients,’ says the lawsuit.
The class action – filed in the Illinois federal court – argues this violates the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which requires that manufacturers identify and describe the basic nature of the main ingredient’s characterising properties in all advertising.
The lead plaintiff – representing herself and a Class of consumers in Illinois, Iowa and Arkansas – is seeking a jury trial, monetary damages and punitive and/or statutory damages.
The Class Action Lawsuit is Harris v. Kellogg Sales Company, Case No. 3:21-cv-01040, in the US District Court for the Southern District of Illinois East St. Louis Division. The plaintiff is represented by Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates PC.
In the class action Brown v. Kellogg Sales Co., Case No. 1:20-cv-07283, in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the plaintiff was also represented by Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associations PC.