Pop-Tarts strawberry content subject of $5M lawsuit

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NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — A $5 million lawsuit filed against Kellogg’s claims the way the company markets its strawberry Pop-Tarts is misleading.

Elizabeth Russett is suing the breakfast food giant, claiming the fruit filling in Kellogg’s Whole Grain Frosted Strawberry Toaster Pastries is mostly other fruits. The complaint alleges that Strawberry Pop-Tarts contain more pears and apples than strawberries and that the amount of strawberries they contain “is insufficient not merely to provide the nutrient benefits of strawberries but to provide a strawberry taste.”

Spencer Sheehan filed the lawsuit for Russett, and told NewsNation customers shouldn’t have to read the fine print to realize there’s more fruit flavor than just strawberry.

“If the company is going to call their product, strawberries, instead of pear or apple or mix fruit, then they should either have more strawberries relative to the other fruits, or call it something else,” Sheehan said on “The Donlon Report” on Wednesday. “Maybe ‘strawberry flavored’ or ‘pear and strawberry flavored’ Pop-Tarts. But don’t just call it strawberries.”

In the lawsuit, Harris says red coloring in the Pop-Tarts gives “the false impression” they contain more strawberries than they actually do. And for that, she says the damages exceed $5 million. She also wants to see Pop-Tarts labeled more accurately.

“Whether a toaster pastry contains only strawberries or merely some strawberries … is basic front label information consumers rely on when making quick decisions at the grocery store,” the lawsuit reads. “Strawberries are the Product’s characterizing ingredient … (consumers) believe they are present in an amount greater than is the case.”

Sheehan said the $5 million figure comes from their rough guess as to how much money Kellogg’s made selling the product in New York over the last “five or six years.”

This is not about the nutritional value of the popular snack. Sheehan said his client is not concerned with the high fructose corn syrup, she just wants to know what flavor she’s in for right off the bat.

“There were extensive debates and discussions when labeling regulations were implemented that if you’re going to have a product labeled as strawberry, then it should be entirely strawberry,” Sheehan said. “Or, you should call it something else.”

Kellogg’s told The Hill it is not commenting on the pending lawsuit.

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