Welch’s has always been known for fruit snacks, a ‘healthier’ choice thanks to its use of real fruit. A class action lawsuit, however, disagrees.
Two women are waging war against the candy company, claiming pictures of fresh fruit and catch phrases on the packaging deceived health-conscious parents who purchased the fruit snacks.
The snacks do say their primary ingredients include fruit purees, juices, and concentrate, but the lawsuit argues sugar and food coloring accounts for at least 40 percent of each serving of its candy.
“Welch Foods has deceived shoppers by engaging in a deceptive marketing campaign to convince consumers that Welch’s Fruit Snacks contained significant amounts of the actual fruits shown in the marketing and on the labeling of the products, were nutritious and healthful to consume, and were more healthful than similar products,” said plaintiffs Aliza Atik and Winnie Lau, in a statement. This false advertising violates New York, California, and federal laws.
This isn’t the first lawsuit against Welch’s and their claims as a healthy food option. Another group brought a similar complaint before a California court, claiming Welch Foods inaccurately labeled its juice and spread products as “natural” and “no sugar added.”
“If they called it junky happy joy chewy, that would be fine,” Stephen Gardner, the attorney for the plaintiffs, told Fortune. “But they’re marketing this to people so they choose to buy it as an alternative to fruit. It’s an alternative to M&Ms — not to use M&Ms pejoratively. I love M&Ms.”
The plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit are simply looking for the company to cease its promotion of its products as fruit.
“Our goal is to find a way to let people (parents in particular) know what they are buying,” Gardner said.