On Sunday, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of Illinois against Kraft Heinz food company. The class accuses the defendants of fraud, unjust enrichment, and negligent misrepresentation for the advertising of their Cracker Barrel Bites, which are said to include butter crackers. The proposed class will consist of Illinois residents who purchased the product during the statutes of limitations period for each cause of action alleged.
According to the plaintiff, Kraft’s packaging misled customers into purchasing their product at a greater price by advertising the product as containing butter. According to the health facts on the package, they elected to use vegetable oil, which is commonly used as a substitute for butter. However, many customers try to avoid this substitute due to its higher levels of trans fat. There are many people who specifically avoid these substitutions since they believe that actual butter is more natural and not refined, bleached, or deodorized as some vegetable oils are.
The plaintiffs referenced FDA guidance in their argument, claiming that it has been well established that consumers who see butter on a product name will expect to receive a product that contains butter. If it does not contain actual butter, the producer will usually let that be known to the consumer through smaller text on the packaging close to where the word butter is. Kraft failed to do this, therefore deceiving their customers. Plaintiffs claim that had they been privy to this information, they would not have purchased the product.
The plaintiffs asked that the court issue an injunction requiring Kraft to remove or fix the product in question and that members of the class be properly compensated for any damages.