special k breakfast cereal with strawberries

Kellogg, Kashi Business Unit Defeat Appeals of Protein Content Labeling Lawsuits

Aug. 15, 2023
Plaintiffs in the class-action suits claimed more than 30 products misled consumers by misrepresenting the amount of high-quality protein in each product.

According to a report from Reuters, Kellogg and its Kashi business unit defeated the appeals of two class-action lawsuits accusing them of deceitful labeling regarding the protein content in more than 30 products.

Plaintiffs claimed that the labels on cereals, bars, granola products, shakes, waffles and meat substitutes sold under Kashi, Bear Naked, MorningStar Farms, RX and Special K brands deceived customers because they “broadly tout protein quantity” without disclosing that the overall amount of protein in the product included “poor quality” protein that the human body could not absorb.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco filed a 3-0 decision that agreed with a lower court judge that federal law pre-empted California and Illinois consumer protection laws, under which the suits were filed. One of the circuit court judges said the labeling could be misleading under federal law regarding protein content labeling, but she did not believe Kellogg crossed a line, nor could it be held to higher standards under state laws.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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