PopChips Ridges Cheddar & Sour Cream Flavor Sources New York Class Action

VMG Partners, LLC makes PopChips Ridges, including a Cheddar & Sour Cream version. But the complaint for this class action claims that this unqualified flavor designation is misleading. Why? Because, the complaint says, “the cheddar and sour cream flavor does not come only from cheddar cheese and sour cream and has less … of these ingredients than expected by consumers”—or even possibly none of them.

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

Page 2 of the complaint reproduces an image of the PopChips product’s bag. It shows the words “cheddar & sour cream,” images of a wedge of cheddar cheese and a small cup of sour cream topped with chives, and an orange color scheme. There are no qualifications attached to the flavor designation (such as “artificially flavored” or “with other natural flavors”).

The complaint alleges, “The absence of these terms causes consumers to infer the food has a sufficient amount of the characterizing ingredients to flavor the food.”

Consumers these days prefer flavoring from “real” sources. Even when products use “natural flavors” that come from the original sources, the complaint says, these “flavors are the distilled and extracted flavor components of the respective foods and are highly processed in laboratories with complex methods and contain numerous additives and enhancers.”

The ingredient label say? It shows “Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes],” “Natural Flavors,” and turmeric and annatto coloring.

The complaint alleges, “Based on analysis of the Product, the ‘Natural Flavors’ contain[] numerous cheddar aroma compounds such as acetic, butyric, caproic, and caprylic acids.” Why are they there? The complaint claims, “These flavors are added because the amount of cheddar cheese in the Product is insufficient to independently provide a cheddar taste of the food.”

If that is so, the complaint says, then the word cheddar should be modified to read “natural cheddar flavored” or “cheddar flavored.” It claims that the added color is also being used to suggest that the product contains more cheddar cheese than it does.

The complaint also alleges that the product contains no sour cream. If it did, the complaint says, the ingredient list would show “sour cream” or its components of “cultured milk” or “cultured cream.”

Sour cream, the complaint says, “is a cultured dairy product made by adding lactic acid bacteria to pasteurized milk or cream”—a process that “restores many of the beneficial bacteria that are lost during pasteurization and imparts a pleasant tangy flavor.” Real sour cream, it claims, also offers benefits from its content of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B2, and B12. The complaint therefore says that real sour cream is an important ingredient to consumers.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

PopChips Ridges Cheddar & Sour Cream Flavor Sources New York Complaint

December 6, 2020

VMG Partners, LLC makes PopChips Ridges, including a Cheddar & Sour Cream version. But the complaint for this class action claims that this unqualified flavor designation is misleading. Why? Because, the complaint says, “the cheddar and sour cream flavor does not come only from cheddar cheese and sour cream and has less … of these ingredients than expected by consumers”—or even possibly none of them.

PopChips Ridges Cheddar & Sour Cream Flavor Sources New York Complaint

Case Event History

PopChips Ridges Cheddar & Sour Cream Flavor Sources New York Complaint

December 6, 2020

VMG Partners, LLC makes PopChips Ridges, including a Cheddar & Sour Cream version. But the complaint for this class action claims that this unqualified flavor designation is misleading. Why? Because, the complaint says, “the cheddar and sour cream flavor does not come only from cheddar cheese and sour cream and has less … of these ingredients than expected by consumers”—or even possibly none of them.

PopChips Ridges Cheddar & Sour Cream Flavor Sources New York Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels