The lawsuit alleges that strawberry-flavored Pop-Tarts contain too many other ingredients to really be called “strawberry.”
The Kellogg Sales Company continues to face a class action lawsuit claiming that the company’s Pop-Tarts need more strawberries.
According to USA Today, the class action was first filed in August in the Southern District of Illinois. Lead plaintiff Anita Harris alleges that Kellogg is misleading consumers by promoting Pop-Tarts’ strawberry filling on labeling and in marketing campaigns.
In her filing, Harris suggests that Kellogg gives consumers the impressions that its Pop-Tarts contain “a greater relative and absolute amount of strawberries than it does.”
But the packaging for Pop-Tarts “Frosted Strawberry Toaster Pastries” shows that the product is comprised of less than 2% “dried strawberries, dried pears, dried apples” and “red 40.”
Harris charges that Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts “cannot provide a true strawberry taste” since its contents are diluted by “significant amounts” of pears and apples. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that the pastries’ red food coloring gives consumers the mistaken impression that Pop-Tarts contain higher concentrations of actually strawberry-derived ingredients.
“The Product does not reveal the addition of this artificial coloring anywhere other than the ingredient lawsuit,” the class action claims.
Harris says that many Americans seek out strawberries and strawberry-derived products because they have “one of the highest levels of nutrient densities of all fruits,” and are “an excellent source of Vitamin C, necessary for immune and skin health.”
“Whether a toaster pastry contains only strawberries or merely some strawberries […] is basic front label information consumers rely on when making quick decisions at the grocery store,” the lawsuit states. “Strawberries are the Product’s characterizing ingredient … [consumers] believe they are present in an amount greater than is the case.”
Attorneys for Harris say that Pop-Tarts has violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, which prohibits deceptive advertisements based off “false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation or the concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact.”
Harris suggested that companies like Kellogg should not be able to take advantage of consumers’ willingness to believe marketing claims.
“Reasonable consumers must and do rely on a company to honestly identify and describe the components, attributes, and features of the Product,” Harris said.
A spokesperson for Kellogg told a local FOX News affiliate that the company cannot yet offer comment on Harris’s claims.
“Kellogg does not comment on pending litigation,” the company said.
The lawsuit, which represents consumers from several states outside of Illinois, is seeking up to $5 million in damages.