Mondelez International, Inc. is facing a proposed class action that claims it deceptively markets its belVita breakfast products toward health-conscious consumers despite the products containing 'high levels' of sugar.
December 20, 2021 – Settlement Receives Preliminary Approval
The judge overseeing the case detailed on this page has granted preliminary approval to an $8 million settlement that will provide cash payments to eligible claimants and require Mondelez to make changes to the labels of its belVita products.
According to U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant’s November 19 order, the settlement will cover anyone who, between November 16, 2013 and November 17, 2021, purchased in the U.S. any of the products covered by the suit, including belVita Crunchy Biscuits, belVita Soft Baked Biscuits, belVita Bites and belVita Sandwiches, for household use and not for resale.
In order to receive a cash payment, class members, i.e., those who fit the aforementioned criteria, will need to submit a claim form through the settlement website, www.BreakfastBiscuitClaims.com, or by mailing a completed claim form to the class administrator. Claimants will be required to estimate how many belVita products they purchased over a typical three-month period (though there is a cap of two products per month for those without proof of purchase) and specify the year they began purchasing the products. Payments will be based on the number and variety of products purchased.
The deadline for filing a claim is February 9, 2022.
Mondelez has also agreed to make certain changes to the labels of its belVita products. For a three-year period, the company will be prohibited from using the word “nutritious”—or “healthy,” “balanced” or “wholesome”—in certain contexts when describing the covered products, as long as 10 percent or more of the food’s calories come from added sugar.
A final approval hearing has been scheduled for April 4, 2022.
Mondelez International, Inc. is facing a proposed class action that claims it deceptively markets its belVita breakfast products toward health-conscious consumers despite the products containing “high levels” of sugar that the suit says could contribute to chronic diseases. The two named plaintiffs say they bought belVita products based on the labels’ claims that the biscuits were a healthy breakfast option that would provide “NUTRITIOUS SUSTAINED ENERGY.” In reality, the suit alleges, the products contain between 16 and 24 percent of an individual’s daily sugar intake and are likely to “contribute to excess added sugar consumption.”
The complaint argues that regular consumption of excess sugar can lead to various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver disease. The plaintiffs claim they never would have purchased the products, or would have paid less for them, absent the defendant’s allegedly false labeling.
The suit specifically mentions the following belVita varieties: