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Judge tosses suit over Pop-Tarts fruit exaggeration claim

A federal judge in Manhattan has dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing Kellogg of using misleading labeling to exaggerate the amount of strawberries in its Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts. In a Thursday night decision, US District Judge Andrew Carter said reasonable shoppers would not expect strawberries to be the main ingredient in a “pre-packaged, processed sugary treat called Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts.” The judge said Kellogg’s labeling described Pop-Tarts’ flavor instead of the source of that flavor, and shoppers like plaintiff Kelvin Brown of Bronx, NY, could check the ingredient list to resolve any confusion. Carter also rejected the idea that Pop-Tarts buyers missed out on the health benefits of strawberries. “A reasonable consumer is unlikely to purchase a toaster pastry coated in frosting exclusively for the nutritional value of strawberries in its fruit filling,” he wrote. A lawyer for Brown had no immediate comment on Friday. Kellogg and its lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Last month, a federal judge in Chicago dismissed a similar lawsuit over unfrosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts, saying Kellogg did not guarantee how many strawberries it would use. The Battle Creek, Mich.-based company is also being sued over its Whole Grain Frosted Strawberry and Frosted Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tarts. Lawsuits over false labeling are common, and many are unsuccessful. On Wednesday, US District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan dismissed a lawsuit accusing Mondelez International of deceiving purchasers of “Stoned Wheat Thins” into thinking the snack cracker contained stone-ground whole wheat flour. The case is Brown v Kellogg Sales Co, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 20-07283.

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