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365 Everyday Value Oat & Flax Oatmeal Hides Sugar Class Action

Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. offers its own products under the 365 Everyday Value brand. At issue in this case is its Instant Oatmeal Oats & Flax product. The complaint alleges that the representations for the product are misleading, because the products hides sugar in its ingredient list under the euphemism “Organic Dehydrated Cane Juice Solids.”

The class for this action is all consumers in all fifty states, with subclasses for the individual states along with nationwide classes, presumably during the applicable statutes of limitations.

The second page of the complaint has a photograph of the product’s box which bears the words “Low Fat,” “Vegan,” “Good Source of Fiber,” “Whole Grain Stamp,” “Non-GMO Project Verified,” “USDA Organic” along with an image of fresh raspberries on top of and around a big bowl of the prepared oatmeal.

The page also reproduces the ingredient list, which shows only four ingredients, the second of which is “Organic Dehydrated Cane Juice Solids.”

The complaint asserts, “Consumers expect ingredients on a product to be declared by their common or usual name.” It claims that they associate the term “juice” with fruits and vegetables and the term “juice solids” with the processing of juice from fruits like apples and oranges. “Juice solids” may also refer to a “valuable constituent” in a juice, such as the presence of orange bits in orange juice.

However, the complaint alleges that in this case the “juice solids” do not describe something that consumers are likely to find “valuable,” because, the complaint says, “‘dehydrated cane juice’—whether followed by the term ‘solids’ or not—is another name for the ingredient commonly known as ‘sugar.’”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the complaint claims, “previously concluded that where an ingredient was described as ‘[evaporated] cane juice,’ consumers may be misled because ‘cane juice’ refers to a sweetener.” It quotes the Code of Federal Regulations as saying that the term evaporated cane juice “suggest[s] that the ingredients are made from or contain fruit or vegetable ‘juice’…”

The complaint alleges, “For the purpose of declaring a food’s ingredients by their common and usual names, there is no material difference between ‘evaporated cane juice’ and ‘dehydrated cane juice solids.’”

The use of this term, according to the complaint, deceives consumers into buying a product that has added sugar as its second ingredient. The complaint claims, “Given that the Product [is] marketed as a simple, no-frills basic oatmeal and flax, pictured beneath fresh raspberries, consumers will expect that ‘dehydrated cane juice solids’ is related to actual fruit, including those prominently displayed…”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

365 Everyday Value Oat & Flax Oatmeal Hides Sugar Complaint

November 15, 2019

Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. offers its own products under the 365 Everyday Value brand. At issue in this case is its Instant Oatmeal Oats & Flax product. The complaint alleges that the representations for the product are misleading, because the products hides sugar in its ingredient list under the euphemism “Organic Dehydrated Cane Juice Solids.”

365 Everyday Value Oat & Flax Oatmeal Hides Sugar Complaint

Case Event History

365 Everyday Value Oat & Flax Oatmeal Hides Sugar Complaint

November 15, 2019

Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. offers its own products under the 365 Everyday Value brand. At issue in this case is its Instant Oatmeal Oats & Flax product. The complaint alleges that the representations for the product are misleading, because the products hides sugar in its ingredient list under the euphemism “Organic Dehydrated Cane Juice Solids.”

365 Everyday Value Oat & Flax Oatmeal Hides Sugar Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Hiding Sugar