Whole Foods Faces Class Action Lawsuits Over Deceptive Yogurt Labeling

Two separate class action lawsuits have been filed against Whole Food Markets, alleging that the company purposefully lied about the amount of sugar in its store-brand yogurt products, to make them appear more healthy. 

Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Plain Greek Yogurt’s nutritional facts label indicate that it has only two grams of sugar. However, according to an investigation by Consumer Reports last month, it was revealed that the Whole Foods yogurt actually has more than 11 grams on average.

The investigation has sparked two Whole Foods Market class action lawsuits. One of the complaints was filed in New Jersey Superior Court by Mark Bilder and the other was filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The lawsuits accuse the popular health food grocery store chain of deceptive advertising and seek to represent all customers who purchased the Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Plain Greek Yogurt in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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On July 17, Consumer Reports revealed the results of testing conducted on the Whole Foods yogurt brand. The testing was sparked by disbelief among food experts that it was possible to have only 2 grams of sugar in even fat-free plain Greek yogurt. They tested six samples from six different lots and found that they actually contained 11.4 grams of sugar on average.

“To put this in context, bear in mind that all yogurt naturally contains the sugar lactose. That means that even plain yogurts and those made with non-nutritive sweeteners such as stevia and sucralose (not just flavored yogurts that contain added sugar) have some sugar,” Consumer Reports’ investigation noted. “What’s more, the label on this 365 yogurt also listed 16 grams of total carbohydrate per serving. Since lactose provides the vast majority of carbs in yogurt, the numbers just didn’t add up.”

The group said that Whole Foods’ history and claims of care and attention to food content made the deceptive marketing even more “bewildering.”

Whole Foods officials told Consumer Reports that they are working with a vendor to understand the situation and that Consumer Reports’ results are not consistent with those done through third-party laboratories. Officials told the group they will take corrective action if Consumer Reports’ numbers stand up.

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