Lawsuit Against Chobani And Fage: Greek Yogurt Is Packed With Sugar, Isn’t Greek

Greek yogurt is not made in Greece. Sure, this has caused manufacturers of the thick dairy product some legal problems in the United Kingdom, but most consumers are savvy enough to know that the name describes a type of yogurt, not a point of origin. Right? Well, two men in New York City are suing two major producers of Greek yogurt, accusing them of deceptive advertising.

There’s more to this lawsuit than just not being made in Greece: the lead plaintiffs claim that the packaging of the yogurts’ containers claims health benefits that the products simply don’t have. “Defendants… prominently display the number zero (shown as “0%”) on the top and front of their Product packaging without providing any context as to what the 0% represents,” says their initial complaint against Chobani. “Defendants intend to create consumer confusion by causing purchasers to impute any meaning to the 0% that consumers wish, such as the Products lack sugar, carbohydrates, calories, or any other content which a consumer may believe is unhealthy.”

Chobani, meanwhile, counters that everyone knows that Greek yogurt is not from Greece, and the term is a description of the yogurt type, like an “English” muffin. “Chobani” itself is a Turkish word, and the company’s founder is from Turkey. In a statement to the New York Daily News, the company said:

Much like English muffins and French fries, our fans understand Greek yogurt to be a product description about how we authentically make our yogurt and not about where we make our yogurt in upstate New York and Idaho.

The pair are also suing Fage (pronounced “fah-yay,” before you ask), a company that really is based in Greece, but makes its yogurt in upstate New York.

Chobani Greek Yogurt accused in lawsuit of not being Greek and deceiving customers over its nutritional benefits [NY Daily News]

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