A proposed class action claims the Quest brand of protein bars purporting to contain white chocolate and raspberry flavors contains no white chocolate at all, despite representations on the product’s label.
Filed against Quest Nutrition, LLC, the lawsuit claims the front label of Quest protein bars displays misleading representations, such as “White Chocolate Raspberry,” “Flavor,” and pictures of white chocolate and raspberries. Although the representations on the protein bar’s packaging give consumers the impression that the product contains white chocolate, “it does not contain any,” according to the suit.
The case claims that had consumers known the truth about the product’s ingredients, they would not have bought Quest protein bars—or would have paid less for them.
“’White chocolate’ means actual white chocolate – not white chocolate flavor nor an unspecified percentage of cocoa butter, without more,” the complaint scathes. “Defendants’ confusing labeling cannot clarify to consumers whether the product contains ‘white chocolate.’”
As opposed to other chocolate varieties, white chocolate is made from cocoa butter (fat) and contains no cocoa solids or chocolate liquor, the lawsuit explains. Per the complaint, white chocolate is defined as “the solid or semiplastic food prepared by intimately mixing and grinding cacao fat with one or more of the optional dairy ingredients…and one or more optional nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners.”
The case alleges that although the ingredients list for Quest protein bars includes cocoa butter, white chocolate’s main ingredient, no mention is made of any of the dairy ingredients or nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners that the suit says are necessary for a food to be accurately represented as white chocolate.
As the lawsuit tells it, the “milk protein isolate” and “whey protein isolate” included in Quest protein bars are “not acceptable dairy ingredients” in a white chocolate product. Along the same lines, the product’s stevia and sucralose ingredients are “non-nutritive sweeteners” that are inconsistent with the nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners, such as sucrose and corn syrup, contained in white chocolate, the suit says.
The lawsuit goes on to argue that the “Flavor” term on Quest protein bars’ front label is closer in proximity to “Raspberry” than “White Chocolate” even though the ingredients list includes both raspberries and “natural flavors.” Consumers viewing the label will assume that the term applies to raspberries instead of white chocolate, furthering their mistaken belief that the product contains real white chocolate, the case alleges. Moreover, the presence of “cocoa butter” in the product’s ingredients list additionally separates the term “flavor” from “white chocolate” in consumers’ minds, the case claims.
Nevertheless, Quest’s branding and packaging “is designed to—and does—deceive, mislead, and defraud” customers, the lawsuit alleges, arguing that the product falls short of consumers’ reasonable expectations.
The suit looks to represent New York residents who bought the product within the applicable statutes of limitations.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s newsletter here.