Illinois consumer Anita Harris has filed a lawsuit against Kellogg's, alleging that they are misleading consumers regarding the ingredients in their frosted strawberry Pop-Tarts. Harris filed a class action suit, the settlement class for which is made up of anyone in the U.S. who purchased the Pop-Tarts for household use rather than resale, according to Top Class Actions. Harris alleges fraud, claiming that the amount of strawberries in the breakfast pastries is exaggerated, and that advertising and promotional content online and on the packaging lead consumers to believe there's more fresh strawberry than is actually used in the production process.
Kellogg's recently settled a similar class action suit for $13 million with consumers who objected to their characterizations of cereals the company marketed as low-sugar and heart-healthy.
"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," states the class action lawsuit, which claims that "Based on a quantitative estimate and analysis of the filling, it appears to or may even contain more non-strawberry fruit than strawberry ingredients."
If that sounds familiar, it's likely because it's not dissimilar to a recent suit over the contents of the tuna in Subway sandwiches. After an independent laboratory study appeared to support the contents of that suit, Subway was forced to launch a new web campaign defending the contents of its fish.
Kellogg's has already dealt with the Pop-Tarts issue before, when a different consumer sued, accused the company's labelling of being misleading. They were on the receiving end of a similar lawsuit over their Kashi mixed berries breakfast bars.
Harris, who accuses Kellogg's of negligent representation, fraud and unjust enrichment, will represent herself (and the class) in the case.
"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," the suit claims, citing the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.