Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks Too Much Slack Fill New York Class Action

Empty space in a box containing food or other products is called “slack fill.” A number of good reasons exist as to why some slack fill may be needed for effective packaging. But the complaint for this class action brings suit against Annie’s, Inc. alleging that the slack fill in Annie’s Homegrown brand Bunny Fruit Snacks—Tropical Treats fruit snack pouches is excessive and deceives consumers.

The class for this action is all those who live in New York and bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations.

Page 2 of the complaint shows an image of the Bunny Fruit Snacks box and gives its dimensions as 7 inches by 4.5 inches by 1.5 inches. The box is opaque and the fruit snacks are additionally wrapped in five separate pouches, so that consumers do not have a way of determining how many pieces of the candy are inside.

Although the box shows the net weight of the product—four ounces—most consumers would have a hard time envisioning how many fruit snacks that would be.

The complaint demonstrates this for us on page 4: It shows a cut-open box with the fruit snacks removed from their pouches and piled on the floor of the box, with 79% of the box empty above it. Below is an image of the fruit snacks spread sparsely on a plate.

“Slack fill” is the empty space in a container, or the difference between the actual capacity of a container and the amount of the product actually in it.

According to the complaint, consumers have no way of knowing how little of the product the box contains. Even shaking the box won’t help, because the fruit snacks are in their individual pouches and won’t therefore make a sound that would indicate their volume or number. The complaint also contends that the pouches themselves are only about half full of the fruit snacks. It claims that their purpose is to “bulk up” the product and deceive consumers into thinking there is more candy in the box than there actually is.

The complaint quotes the Code of Federal Regulations as saying that “a food shall be deemed to be misbranded if its container is so made, formed, or filled as to be misleading.”

The law allows slack fill when it is needed for certain reasons, such as protecting the contents, as when potato chip bags are inflated with air so that the chips can’t be easily crushed. Another acceptable reason is the need for the package to perform a function, as when instant-noodle bowls are meant to be used to prepare the product, with room needed to accept boiling water and accommodate the dried noodles as they swell.

However, the complaint says, in this instance, “[n]one of these safe harbors apply.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks Too Much Slack Fill New York Complaint

October 11, 2020

Empty space in a box containing food or other products is called “slack fill.” A number of good reasons exist as to why some slack fill may be needed for effective packaging. But the complaint for this class action brings suit against Annie’s, Inc. alleging that the slack fill in Annie’s Homegrown brand Bunny Fruit Snacks—Tropical Treats fruit snack pouches is excessive and deceives consumers.

Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks Too Much Slack Fill New York Complaint

Case Event History

Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks Too Much Slack Fill New York Complaint

October 11, 2020

Empty space in a box containing food or other products is called “slack fill.” A number of good reasons exist as to why some slack fill may be needed for effective packaging. But the complaint for this class action brings suit against Annie’s, Inc. alleging that the slack fill in Annie’s Homegrown brand Bunny Fruit Snacks—Tropical Treats fruit snack pouches is excessive and deceives consumers.

Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks Too Much Slack Fill New York Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Packaging, Excessive Slack Fill