Strawberry Pop-Tarts aren’t living up to their name, lawsuit alleges

Kellogg’s is being sued for not having enough strawberries in Strawberry Pop-Tarts.

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Two toaster pastries stacked with sprinkles
Two toaster pastries stacked with sprinkles
Image: Michael Burrell (Getty Images)

The toaster is hot...with controversy. A recent class-action lawsuit against Kellogg’s claims that Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts are filled with way more than just strawberry, according to Food & Wine.

When a product is named in a way that lists an ingredient first, you’d expect it to have plenty of that ingredient, right? Chocolate chip cookies: filled with chocolate chips. Peanut butter M&Ms: filled with peanut butter. Chicken enchiladas: stuffed with chicken, I’d hope. The plaintiff says in the lawsuit that “[Kellogg’s gives] consumers the impression the fruit filling contains a greater relative and absolute amount of strawberries than it does.”

“Based on a quantitative estimate and analysis of the filling, it appears to or may even contain more non-strawberry fruit than strawberry ingredients,” reads the lawsuit.

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I can’t say I’m surprised that the ingredient list for Strawberry Pop-Tarts isn’t packed with natural strawberry varieties (the product actually contains 2% or less dried strawberries). But the lawsuit calls out other brands that paint a less misleading picture of their similar products. For example, Great Value from Walmart and Clover Valley from Dollar Tree both label their products as “Naturally & Artificially Flavored.” Pop-Tarts lack that designation.

In my non-lawyer opinion, the lawsuit makes a strong case when it goes on to claim that Kellogg’s “sold more of the Product and at higher prices than it would have in the absence of this misconduct, resulting in additional profits at the expense of consumers.” If the plaintiff can actually prove this, Kellogg’s will have to change its packaging and marketing as well as pay up for its misconduct.

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I’m not expecting high end organic quality out of something I heat up for 60 seconds and then quickly try to eat without burning the inside of my mouth, but the label could definitely be more honest about that. (I much prefer the Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tart, but to each their own.)