Los Angeles, CA: Whole Foods Market Inc. is facing a consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging it drastically understates the sugar content of its store-brand Greek yogurt so as to give it a competitive advantage.
According to the lawsuit, the label on Wholefood' "365 Everyday Value Plain Greek Yogurt"states the product contains only 2 grams of sugar per serving. However, the plaintiffs claim that recent tests show the actual sugar content is nearly six times the stated amount.
Filed by Los Angeles residents Chas Jackson and Josh Koffman, the lawsuit alleges that tests, done by Consumer Reports and published online in July, show an average of 11.4 grams of sugar per serving in six samples taken from six separate product lots. These results put the sugar content of Wholefood' yogurt in the same region as a typical ice cream sandwich, which the US Department of Agriculture estimates to be around 13 grams of sugar.
"By falsely claiming a sugar content of only 2 grams per serving, [Whole Foods] sought to give itself a competitive advantage and to use this false statement of contents to induce consumers to purchase"the yogurt, the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs claim that this discrepancy belies statements on Whole Foods' website, which "brags"that a registered dietician reviews the labels on each of the company' products for "accuracy and completeness."
"Unless this statement on defendant' website is false, then Whole Foods Market was fully aware of the contents of its store-brand plain Greek yogurt and of the fact that the yogurt' actual sugar content was dramatically higher than what is stated on the label,"the lawsuit states.
Despite the publication of the Consumer Reports test results on July 17, Whole Foods has not removed the yogurt from its shelves and continues to market the product to consumers with the exact same allegedly inaccurate label, the plaintiffs claim.
In the lawsuit, Jackson and Koffman claim they purchased the yogurt on various occasions since 2000, and they each bought the product within the past month. They are seeking to represent a class of all Californians who purchased the yogurt since Aug. 26, 2000, a group they estimate at more than 10,000 people.
The plaintiffs are represented by Todd M. Friedman.
The lawsuit is Jackson et al. v. Whole Foods Market Inc., case number 2:14-cv-06705, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.