A woman has filed a new lawsuit against Kellog's for allegedly misleading consumers about the amount of strawberries used in its Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts. The lawsuit was filed by lead plaintiff Anita Harris, and is described at length in a report by TopClassActions.com. It claims that Kellogg's is guilty of "negligent representation, fraud and unjust enrichment," and cites some specific laws Harris believes the company is violating as well.
The lawsuit accuses Kellogg's of "exaggerating the amount of strawberries in Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts in online promotions and on the product's packaging... The benefits from strawberries cannot be provided by strawberry 'flavor,' which refers to compounds extracted from strawberries used solely for taste, without their nutritional value." Harris argues that this violates the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which requires that manufacturers identify and describe "the basic nature of the food or its characterizing properties or ingredients" in advertisements.
"Based on a quantitative estimate and analysis of the filling, it appears to or may even contain more non-strawberry fruit than strawberry ingredients," Harris' lawsuit says. The lead plaintiff is seeking a jury trial, monetary damages and punitive and/or statutory damages. The full lawsuit is in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois East St. Louis Division, and is titled Harris v. Kellogg Sales Company, Case No. 3:21-cv-01040, for those interested.
Harris' case is far from the first of its kind. Lawsuits against big brands and manufacturers for misleading advertisements or inadequate explanations of their products go back for years, and some have been successful. In fact, Harris is not even the first person to sue Kellogg's over the Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts specifically.
A man named Kelvin Brown filed a very similar suit just last year, claiming that the images of fresh strawberries used in Pop-Tart ads was misleading. His lawsuit read: "Consumers do not expect a food labeled with the unqualified term 'strawberry' to contain fruit filling ingredients other than strawberry, and certainly do not expect pears and apples, as indicated on the back of the box ingredient list."
Other lawsuits have targeted Bagel Bites for failing to convey the number of artificial ingredients they contain, or "Hawaiian Rolls" for not stating that they are made outside of Hawaii, to name a few examples. So far, Kellogg's has not made a public response to Harris' lawsuit. It is not clear when the case will move forward and what a judge will order next.