Artificial Flavors Aren't Fruit: Kellogg's Sued Over ‘Real Fruit’ Claims

Artificial Flavors Aren't Fruit: Kellogg's Sued Over ‘Real Fruit’ Claims

The Kellogg Company is under fire for claims that two of the company’s products are “Made with Real Fruit.” The products are Super Mario Fruit Snacks and Pop Tarts. Three class action lawsuits were brought against Kellogg's. The plaintiffs in each of the three cases allege that Kellogg's misleads consumers by labeling the products as being made with real fruit when it fact they contain little real fruit and far more unnatural ingredients including artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.

Alicia Spevak is the plaintiff in one case. She alleges that the claim that the snack is made with real fruit is misleading because the product “merely contains de minimis real fruit and unhealthy, unnatural ingredients, chemicals and preservative additives, in addition to merely containing apple puree rather than real fruit, which a reasonable consumer would not expect from a product claiming to be ‘Made with Real Fruit.’’’

Read more about food preservatives

Ryan Barnes is the plaintiff in another case. Barnes is challenging the claim on the label of the line of products “commonly known as ‘Fruit Snacks that are available in various flavors” that the products are “Made with Real Fruit” and “Made with Equal to 20% Fruit.” Barnes alleges that the fruit snacks “merely contains de minimis real fruit and unhealthy, unnatural ingredients, chemicals and preservative additives, in addition to merely containing apple puree rather than real fruit.”

Juliana Ford is the plaintiff in the third case. Ford is concerned about Kellogg’s Pop Tarts, and alleges that the label on the front of the packaging is misleading because it claims that the product is “‘baked with real fruit,’ when in fact, it merely contains de minimis real fruit and unhealthy, unnatural ingredients, chemicals and preservative additives.”

Looking at the labels of the products cited in the three lawsuits reveals that they contain unhealthy ingredients. The ingredients in Super Mario Brothers Fruit Flavored Snacks include many of the items on our Scary Seven ingredients list to avoid: corn syrup, artificial flavor, and artificial colors. The ingredients in the flavor of Pop Tarts known as Frosted Wild Berry Bloom are similar to the fruit snacks, and include: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor, and artificial colors.

Read more about The Scary Seven

General Mills faced a similar lawsuit two years ago over claims that the labels on the company’s Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot, and Fruit Gushers were misleading. The complaint filed against General Mills alleged that the labels are misleading because they claim the products are “fruit flavored,” “naturally flavored,” a “good source of vitamin C,” and are low in fat, gluten and calories. The products are filled with artificial additives and coloring, and some contain corn syrup. All are loaded with added sugars. General Mills agreed in 2012 to improve the labeling for its Strawberry Flavored Fruit Roll-Ups, which did not contain strawberries. The company agreed that the labels will not contain an image of strawberries as long as the product does not contain strawberries, and to include the actual percentage of fruit as long as the label contains the claim “Made with Real Fruit.” The changes will take effect in 2014.

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Andrea Donsky, B. COMM is an international TV Health Expert, Best Selling Author, Nutritionist Podcast Host, and Founder of NaturallySavvy.com—a recipient of Healthline’s Best Healthy Living Blogs for 2019. As a pioneer and visionary in the health food industry, Andrea’s passion is to inspire people to make healthier choices. Andrea has combined her background and expertise as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and an entrepreneur ("She Boss!") to educate the public on living a healthy lifestyle through the creation of her businesses, books, articles, podcasts, videos, talks, and TV and radio media appearances. Andrea founded Naturally Savvy Media Inc. in 2007 in order to share her passion for healthy living, and love for natural products and companies. Among her numerous publications, Andrea co-authored Unjunk your Junk Food published by Simon and Schuster, a book that journalist, author and mother Maria Shriver endorsed: “Unjunk Your Junk Food has certainly made me more aware about the food that my children eat and the effects it has on our body and mind."</P. Andrea also co-authored two e-books entitled Label Lessons: Your Guide To A Healthy Shopping Cart, and Label Lessons: Unjunk Your Kid’s Lunch Box.