Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Chips Artificially Flavored Class Action

Frito-Lay North America, Inc. offers a cheddar-and-sour-cream flavored potato chip within its Ruffles brand line of chips. The complaint for this class action claims that the chips are mislabeled because the labeling suggests they are naturally flavored when in fact, the complaint alleges, they are not.

The class is all those who bought the products in New York or the other forty-nine states, during the applicable statutes of limitations.

The front of the bag is reproduced in the complaint, showing the words “Cheddar & Sour Cream” in large letters, along with an image of three chips, a block of cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.

The ingredient panel lists cheddar cheese and sour cream, but it also lists “Artificial Flavor.”

The complaint claims that 21 CFR 101.22(i) requires the declaration of flavor on a product “to truthfully indicate whether the product’s flavor is from the characterizing food ingredient”—here, cheddar cheese and sour cream—“or from natural or artificial source materials.”

The complaint quotes labeling regulations at 21 CFR 101.22(i)(2) as saying: “If the food contains any artificial flavor which simulates, resembles or reinforces the characterizing flavor, the name of the food on the principal display panel or panels of the label shall be accompanied by the common or usual name(s) of the characterizing flavor, in letters not less than one-half the height of the letters used in the name of the food and the name of the characterizing flavor shall be accompanied by the word(s) ‘artificial’ or ‘artificially flavored.’”

The complaint appears to allege that the products contain an artificial butter flavor that adds to the cheddar cheese flavor, saying that “the long-established connection of butter compounds with contributing to the unique profile of cheddar cheese means that artificial butter flavoring in a cheddar cheese flavored product is required to be disclosed to consumers.”

The complaint further notes that other brands of chips that contain cheddar and sour cream seasoning with artificial flavor do identify their products as artificially flavored.

Why does the Ruffles brand not label its chips this way? The complaint claims that the company “knows consumers will pay more for the product because the label does not state ‘artificially flavored.’” Consumers these days prefer natural ingredients and natural flavorings. Thus, the complaint alleges that the labeling “is designed to—and does—mislead consumers.”

The complaint alleges breaches of warranties, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and violations of consumer protection laws.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Chips Artificially Flavored Complaint

March 1, 2020

Frito-Lay North America, Inc. offers a cheddar-and-sour-cream flavored potato chip within its Ruffles brand line of chips. The complaint for this class action claims that the chips are mislabeled because the labeling suggests they are naturally flavored when, in fact, the complaint alleges, they are not.

Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Chips Artificially Flavored Complaint

Case Event History

Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Chips Artificially Flavored Complaint

March 1, 2020

Frito-Lay North America, Inc. offers a cheddar-and-sour-cream flavored potato chip within its Ruffles brand line of chips. The complaint for this class action claims that the chips are mislabeled because the labeling suggests they are naturally flavored when, in fact, the complaint alleges, they are not.

Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Chips Artificially Flavored Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Does Not Admit to Artificial Flavor on Labels