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Goldfish Snacks “Not a Low-Calorie Food” Labeling Class Action

At issue in this class action is the labeling (or lack of it) on the popular snack food Goldfish, made and sold by Campbell Soup Company and Pepperidge Farm, Inc. The Goldfish package advertises that the snacks inside contain “0g Sugars” or “0g Total Sugars,” but it is not a low-calorie food. The complaint contends that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in such circumstances, requires that the package contain a warning of that fact, since consumers tend to think that a low sugar content automatically means a lower-calorie food.

Three classes have been defined for this action:

The Nationwide Class is all persons who bought Goldfish labeled as having 0g Sugar outside the Nutrition Fact Panel in the US within the applicable statute of limitations.

The California and New York Classes are all those who bought Goldfish labeled as having 0g Sugar outside the Nutrition Fact Panel in those respective states within the applicable statute of limitations.

The products at issue include the following:

  • Cheddar Goldfish
  • Organic Cheddar Goldfish
  • Organic Original Goldfish
  • Parmesan Goldfish
  • Princess Goldfish
  • Whole Grain Cheddar Goldfish
  • Flavor Blasted Cheesy Pizza Goldfish
  • Flavor Blasted Xplosive Pizza Goldfish
  • Baby Cheddar Goldfish
  • Mix Cheesy Pizza + Parmesan Goldfish
  • Organic Parmesan Goldfish
  • Whole Grain XTRA Cheddar Goldfish
  • Colors Cheddar Goldfish
  • Disney Mickey Mouse Goldfish
  • Whole Grain Colors Cheddar Goldfish
  • Flavor Blasted XTRA Cheddar Goldfish

The complaint says that FDA, which is “tasked with ensuring that food labels are not misleading, determined after fact finding that when consumers read a food label that states, “0g Sugars,” they reasonably expect the food to be low or significantly reduced in calories.” The law therefore requires that when a food has such a label but is not low or significantly reduced in calories, it must also include a statement with the warning that it is “not a low calorie food,” “not a reduced calorie food,” or “not for weight control.”

In order to be considered a low-calorie food, a snack food must have forty calories or less in the Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC). This is not necessarily the same as the Serving Size shown on the nutritional panel. In order to be considered a reduced-calorie food, the food must have at least 25% fewer calories than in a reference food.

Consumers do not know about RACCs or the forty-calorie rule, so they are not equipped to tell, in a supermarket aisle, that a food without sugar in it is really a low- or reduced-calorie food, the complaint alleges.

Even worse, the complaint alleges that thirteen of the sixteen products at issue actually do contain sugar or dextrose, and they may also be made with wheat flour that contains a small amount of sugar. While food makers can round sugar content down to zero if it’s 0.5 grams or less, they must still print one of the warnings about the food not being a low-calorie food.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Goldfish Snacks “Not a Low-Calorie Food” Labeling Complaint

August 3, 2021

At issue in this class action is the labeling (or lack of it) on the popular snack food Goldfish, made and sold by Campbell Soup Company and Pepperidge Farm, Inc. The Goldfish package advertises that the snacks inside contain “0g Sugars” or “0g Total Sugars,” but it is not a low-calorie food. The complaint contends that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in such circumstances, requires that the package contain a warning of that fact, since consumers tend to think that a low sugar content automatically means a lower-calorie food.

Goldfish Snacks “Not a Low-Calorie Food” Labeling Complaint

Case Event History

Goldfish Snacks “Not a Low-Calorie Food” Labeling Complaint

August 3, 2021

At issue in this class action is the labeling (or lack of it) on the popular snack food Goldfish, made and sold by Campbell Soup Company and Pepperidge Farm, Inc. The Goldfish package advertises that the snacks inside contain “0g Sugars” or “0g Total Sugars,” but it is not a low-calorie food. The complaint contends that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in such circumstances, requires that the package contain a warning of that fact, since consumers tend to think that a low sugar content automatically means a lower-calorie food.

Goldfish Snacks “Not a Low-Calorie Food” Labeling Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Hiding Sugar, Implying Food or Drink Is Low Calorie