General Mills' fruit snacks marketing, nutrition challenged in lawsuit
ST. PAUL A nutrition watchdog group has filed a lawsuit against General Mills, claiming the marketing of its Fruit Roll-Ups is deliberately misleading. "Fruit Roll-Ups have traditionally been promoted as a healthful snack alternative for parents ...
A nutrition watchdog group has filed a lawsuit against General Mills, claiming the marketing of its Fruit Roll-Ups is deliberately misleading.
"Fruit Roll-Ups have traditionally been promoted as a healthful snack alternative for parents to purchase for their kids," says the lawsuit filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based consumer group.
But the lawsuit added, "In fact, the products contain dangerous, nonnutritious, unhealthy partially hydrogenated oil, large amounts of sugar and potentially harmful artificial food dyes."
CSPI is seeking class-action status for the suit. It said the suit was filed Friday in federal court in the Northern District of California. The suit also targets General Mills' other fruit snack offerings, including Fruit By The Foot and Fruit Gushers.
Kirstie Foster, a spokesperson for Golden Valley-based General Mills, said Monday in an email: "To our knowledge we have not been served with any lawsuit. But it would not be unusual for CSPI to put out a press release before actually serving a lawsuit."
She added, "We stand behind our products -- and we stand behind the accuracy of the labeling of those products."
CSPI argues that Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups contain a lot of ingredients -- but no strawberries.
"General Mills is basically dressing up a very cheap candy as if it were fruit and charging a premium for it," CSPI litigation director Steve Gardner said in a statement. "General Mills is
giving consumers the false impression that these products are somehow more wholesome and charging more. It's an elaborate hoax on parents who are trying to do right by their kids."
General Mills created the fruit snacks concept in the 1980s and remains the market leader. Its fruit snacks are made and sold in a variety of ways, including Fruit By The Foot and Fruit Gushers. Its lineup of Fruit-Flavored Shapes comes in a wide range of kid-appealing shapes, from Care Bears to Spiderman to Scooby Doo.
Distributed by MCT Information Services