A class action lawsuit claims Chobani Greek Yogurt labels contain false and deceptive claims about the products’ health and nutritional benefits.
“As part of its overall marketing strategy, Chobani has recognized the desire of many of its consumers to eat a healthier diet comprised of natural foods and foods that lack added sugar. Chobani recognizes that natural and health claims drive sales, and consequently, actively promotes the naturalness and health benefits of its products,” the class action lawsuit states.
What consumers don’t realize, however, is that despite label claims that Chobani Greek Yogurt contains “All Natural Ingredients,” “No artificial flavors,” and is sweetened with “evaporated cane juice,” the yogurt products actually contain artificial ingredients, flavorings, coloring, and chemical preservatives, according to the Chobani class action lawsuit.
For example, the Nutrition Facts for Chobani’s Greek Yogurt, Pomegranate flavor, state that it has 19 grams of sugar, but the ingredient section fails to list “sugar” or “dried cane syrup” as an ingredient, the class action lawsuit states. Instead, the label lists “Evaporated Cane Juice” as an ingredient, despite the fact that the FDA has specifically warned companies not to use this term because it is “false and misleading,” does not accurately describe the ingredients utilized, and because Evaporated Cane Juice is not a juice.
“If a manufacturer is going to make a claim on a food label, the label must meet certain legal requirements that help consumers make informed choices and ensure that they are not misled,” the Chobani Greek Yogurt class action lawsuit continues.
The Chobani class action lawsuit is brought on behalf of all California residents who, within the last four years, purchased Chobani’s Greek Yogurt products labeled with the ingredient “Evaporated Cane Juice” and/or labeled “All Natural Ingredients” or “Only Natural Ingredients,” but which actually contain artificial ingredients, flavorings, coloring, and/or chemical preservatives.
It is seeking damages, restitution, and more for alleged claims misleading and deceptive advertising; fraudulent, unlawful and unfair business acts and practices; and violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Beverly-Song Act and Magnuson-Moss Act.
A copy of the Chobani Greek Yogurt Deceptive Advertising Class Action Lawsuit can be read here.
The case is Katie Kane v. Chobani, Inc., Case No. 12-cv-02425, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division.
UPDATE 1: A federal judge dismissed the Chobani Greek Yogurt Class Action Lawsuit on September 19, 2013, ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring evaporated cane juice claims.
UPDATE 2: Plaintiffs filed a third amended class action lawsuit against Chobani, but the case was struck down by Judge Koh on Feb. 20, 2014. The plaintiffs will not be allowed to refile.
UPDATE 3: On Mar. 16, 2016, after their Chobani class action lawsuit was dismissed, three plaintiffs took their claim to the Ninth Circuit to attempt to revive allegations that the yogurt-maker deceives consumers by mislabeling ingredients.
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