Do phrases like “low fat,” “gluten-free,” “made with real fruit” and “good source of vitamin C” on the package of a processed fruit snack product make you think that the product is a healthy food? These phrases have all been on the packaging of fruit-like snack substances from General Mills: Froot by the Foot, Fruit Roll-Ups, and Gushers. Marketing copy on the front of a box is no substitute for taking a moment to read nutrition information and ingredients. But that hasn’t stopped the Center for Science in the Public Interest from filing a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company tried to make consumers believe that their products were wholesome and fruit-based, not full of trans fats, preservatives, and food coloring.
From the suit:
…Defendant’s Fruit Snacks contained trans fat, added sugars, and
artificial food dyes; lacked significant amounts of real, natural fruit; and had no dietary
fiber. Thus, although the Products were marketed as being healthful and nutritious for
children and adults alike, selling these Fruit Snacks was little better than giving candy to
By its deceits, Defendant was able to command a premium price by
misleading consumers about the healthfulness of its Products and, thereby, distinguishing
the Products from similar fruit snack products. Defendant was motivated to mislead
consumers for no other reason than to take away market share from competing products
and increase its own profits.
First clue that a product may not be all that wholesome: its name is spelled “Froot.”
Class members are anyone in the United States who has purchased any of these fruitlike substances from General Mills since 2005. They seek damages for: “Unfair, Deceptive and Fraudulent Acts and Practices; Misleading and Deceptive Advertising; Breach of Express Warranty and Unjust Enrichment.”
What next? Will someone think that Crunchberries are actual berries? No, sorry, that already happened.
General Mills Fruit Snack Class Action Lawsuit [Top Class Actions]