01.US class action against Chobani
Two men in the US have filed a class action against American yoghurt manufacturer Chobani for not being “Greek” enough and for allegedly deceiving customers over its nutritional benefit.
Chobani, which also sells its 0% Greek Yogurt in Australia, is now being taken to task for allegedly trying to “create consumer confusion” and deceiving consumers into thinking this product is healthier than it actually is.
The latest US suit, put forward by Barry Stoltz and Allan Chang, says that Chobani yogurts “prominently display the
Product packaging without providing any context as to what the 0% represents”.
While the 0% refers to the fat content of the yoghurt, Stoltz and Chang allege that the 0% causes purchasers to believe the product has no sugar, when the yoghurt is actually high in sugar.
The suit comes off the back of a high-profile class action in California, which took Chobani to court for allegedly deceiving consumers by using the term ‘evaporated cane juice’ which the complainants said was nothing more than sugar, cleverly disguised. However, the case was dismissed in favour of Chobani.
While the US Food and Drink Authority believes that sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup shouldn’t be declared as “evaporated cane juice”, as this falsely suggests the sweeteners are juice, this is not a legally enforceable recommendation.
Stoltz and Chang also argue that Chobani’s Greek yogurts aren’t Greek, saying "none of the
Products sold in the U.S. are made in Greece or made by Greek nationals".
Last year, the yoghurt manufacturer was banned from labelling its yoghurt as “Greek” in the UK because it was deemed that a substantial proportion of those buying Greek yoghurt in the UK would believe it to be made in Greece.