Dollar General Corporation sells a Honey Graham Crackers product under its Clover Valley brand, which the complaint for this class action alleges gives consumer the impression that it is “made predominantly with whole grain graham flour and sweetened primarily with honey[.]” However, the complaint alleges that this is false.
Two classes have been proposed for this action:
- The New York Class is all persons in New York who bought the product during the applicable statute of limitations.
- The Consumer Fraud Multi-State Class is all persons in Alaska, Maine, Utah, and Georgia who bought the product during the statutes of limitations for each cause of action alleged.
Page 1 of the complaint shows an image of the box of crackers, bearing the words “Honey Graham Crackers,” with “Graham” in the largest letters on the label, and “Contains 8g of whole grain per serving.” It also depicts a dripping honey dipper and the words “Made with Real Honey.”
Consumers prefer whole grains, the complaint alleges, because they believe they are more nutritious. Whole grains contain the endosperm, bran, and germ of the grain, while refined grains have had the bran and germ removed. The complaint alleges, “The bran and germ contain important nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as iron, zinc, folate, magnesium, thiamin, niacin, selenium, riboflavin, manganese, copper, vitamin A, and vitamin B6.” According to the complaint, graham flour is a whole wheat flour.
Refined grains may therefore be enriched, to add back in some of the nutrients that have been taken out, but not nearly all of them.
However, the complaint reproduces the ingredient panel for the product, which shows the first ingredient to be “Enriched Flour,” with “Graham Flour (Whole Wheat Flour) coming in at second place.
The complaint claims, “The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that at least half of all grains eaten be whole grains.” Unfortunately, the complaint contends that consumers cannot know what proportion of the flour in the product is whole grain and what proportion refined grain.
Consumers nowadays are also trying to eat less sugar, the complaint says, so many prefer to buy products sweetened with honey. However, the ingredient panel shows that “Sugar” comes before “Honey,” which is the fifth ingredient, coming just before the “Contains 2% or less of” ingredients.
The primary purpose of the honey, the complaint alleges, is not as the sweetener for the crackers but to darken the color of the crackers when they are baked, because consumers look for a darker color to indicate a product with more whole grain.Article Type: Lawsuit