Strawberry Pop-Tarts Don't Contain Enough Strawberry, Lawsuit Claims
As enjoyable as a Pop-Tart can be, the toaster pastries aren't particularly bursting with filling: The insides lean towards PB&J sandwich more than jelly donut. So every drop of filling counts. But a recent class-action lawsuit claims that — for Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts, at least — the product barely contains any strawberry at all… or at least not enough strawberry to get away with calling it a Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tart.
In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Courts' Southern District of Illinois, plaintiff Anita Harris alleges that Kellogg's claims about its Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts are misleading since "they give consumers the impression the fruit filling contains a greater relative and absolute amount of strawberries than it does." The filing goes on to state that despite strawberries being the product's "characterizing ingredient," on the actual ingredients list, dried strawberries don't even get a mention until the "contains 2-percent or less" section where they mingle with other items like wheat starch, salt, dried pears, and dried apples.
"Based on a quantitative estimate and analysis of the filling, it appears to or may even contain more non-strawberry fruit than strawberry ingredients," the lawsuit states. Later, it adds, "To give consumers the false impression that the Product contains a greater absolute and relative amount of strawberries than it does, it contains red 40, a synthetic food coloring made from petroleum. Red 40 makes the strawberry-pear-apple combination look bright red, like it is only strawberries or has more strawberries than it does."
The filing also points to two other brands, Great Value from Walmart and Clover Valley from Dollar Tree, both of which list that they are "Naturally & Artificially Flavored." The plaintiff alleges that not including similar statements on Pop-Tart's packaging gives Kellogg a competitive advantage.
In conclusion, the suit claims that Kellogg "sold more of the Product and at higher prices than it would have in the absence of this misconduct, resulting in additional profits at the expense of consumers." As a result, the plaintiff is asking for the suit to be given class action status and for Kellogg to be ordered to change its packaging and marketing of these Pop-Tarts as well as to pay monetary compensation.
Kellogg declined to comment due to the ongoing nature of the litigation.