A lawsuit filed against Chobani will no doubt inspire OPA! inspirational moments among loyal consumers. A pair of plaintiffs have filed federal lawsuits against two Greek yogurt manufacturers claiming that the manufacturers are playing hide and seek with the yogurt’s sugar content, that the 0% on its container is misleading and finally that the “Greek” yogurt is not made in Greece or by Greek nationals.
Barry Stoltz of Westchester and Allan Chang of Queens, filed seperate class actions against Chobani and Fage in the Brooklyn federal court. They claim that the evaporated cane juice listed as a sweetening agent actually consists of sugar and therefore the yogurt manufacturers are misrepresenting the sugar content to consumers.
“Defendants purposefully misrepresented and continue to misrepresent to consumers that their products contain ‘evaporated cane juice’ even though ‘evaporated cane juice’ is not ‘juice’ at all – it is nothing more than sugar dressed up to sound like a healthier sweetener,” the suit claims. As comparison the plaintiffs argue that a Nestle fudge ice cream bar has 15 grams of sugar per serving while a “typical” Chobani cup has 16 grams of the sweet stuff.
Both Stoltz and Chang attack the 0% found on some yogurt products as confusing as the product does not define what the 0 represents.
“Defendants intend to create consumer confusion by causing purchaser to impute any meaning to the 0% that consumers wish, such as that the Products lack sugar, carbohydrates, calories, or any other content which a consumer may believe is unhealthy,” the complaint states.
Finally the greekness of the products is attacked as although it is branded as “America’s Top Greek Yogurt”, plaintiffs allege that none of the products are made in Greece or made by Greek nationals.
“Much like English muffins and French fries, our fans understand Greek Yogurt to be a product description about how we authentically make our yogurt and not about where we make our yogurt in Upstate New York and Idaho,” a Chobani representative advised the Ney York Post in an official statement.
A similar advertising misrepresentation lawsuit was thrown out of a California District court with prejudice after the plaintiffs had amended the lawsuit three times. The order issued on the 20th of February cited that plaintiffs had failed to establish how they could have realized that dried cane syrup was a form of sugar but did not believe that evaporated cane juice was not.
New York Post