In August of 2021, a New York woman named Anita Harris files a class action lawsuit against the food giant Kellogg’s. And while Kellogg’s pop-tarts are not new to lawsuits, this one is a little different. The lawsuit claims that the amount of strawberries in a pop-tart are exaggerated in the companies marketing campaigns and website. It also claims that the sweet filling has more pears and apples than strawberries, and that the amount of strawberries are not enough to yield the nutritional benefits and flavour of strawberries.
The ingredient label claims that the Frosted or unfrosted Strawberry pop-tarts contain strawberries, apples and pears, although no mention is made on the amount of strawberries and the ratio to the other fruits in the recipe.
So where does this lawsuit come from? Well it didn’t take much digging to reveal the brains behind this case. New-York based attorney Spencer Sheehan has filled more than 400 lawsuits targeting food products across the US on every supermarket and grocery store shelf.
The cases range from deceptive labels, to incorrect ingredients such as:
- Keebler Fudge Stripes where it is claimed that the basic ingredients for Fudge are not within the recipes ingredients
- Betty Crocker’s Fudge Brownie Mix where it is claimed that: The representation is misleading because it gives consumers the impression it contains a greater relative and absolute amount of the expected fudge ingredients than it does.
There are also more than a hundred cases against products claiming to contain vanilla when in reality most of them contain Castoreum which is a compound extracted from a beavers castor sacs. If you don’t know where castor sacs are located, check out the image below, it might change your mind about using artificial vanilla in recipes in the future 🙂
When I first heard about this, my mind thought, another cash grabbing lawsuit. But as I researched the subject further, I found myself on the other side of the coin. Most large consumer products are very well researched, companies study their consumers and create marketing campaigns that will obviously sell their products. But there is no transparency or honesty in this process, if they can raise profits by replacing ingredients that “taste similar” but are cheaper, they will do it. If they believe they can get away with-it they will do it. So maybe its good that someone is sticking it to those mega corps that have no issue misleading its consumers? On the other hand, will it make any difference for the future? Who knows.
The lesson learned here is, if you want a pop-tart thats filled with REAL ingredients, MAKE IT AT HOME 🙂 Its simple and tastes a million times better. And guess what, you can use all the best ingredients and get exactly what you want. Here is my very own Pop Tart recipe, fill it with 100% strawberry jam and bob’s your uncle.