Walmart Inc. finds itself facing a proposed class action filed by a consumer who claims the mega-retailer falsely and deceptively advertises its Parent’s Choice Pediatric Shake.
The 31-page complaint says that although Walmart claims its Parent’s Choice Pediatric Shake is naturally flavored, balanced nutrition for kids and contains no synthetic colors, flavors or sweeteners, the shake in fact contains unnatural ingredients, including the food texturizer maltodextrin.
A focus of the lawsuit is Walmart’s packaging of the product, which allegedly includes claims that it’s “naturally flavored,” “balanced nutrition to help kids thrive,” “nutrition to help kids grow,” and that it contains no synthetic ingredients. Maltodextrin, the case argues, is as synthetic as synthetic gets given that it’s a commercially manufactured product of a chemical process and added to food “as either a white powder or a concentrated solution to act as a thickening agent.” From the case:
“Maltodextrin is synthetic because it is not natural but rather uses the above described complex manufacturing chemical, thermodynamic, and mechanical process to make it.
Maltodextrin is also a sweetener because it contains sugars, similar to corn syrup.
Thus, maltodextrin is an unnatural synthetic sweetener contained in the Shakes which is directly contrary to the Shakes’ labelling.”
Despite possessing awareness that the shakes contain unnatural ingredients, Walmart, according to the suit, persists in its marketing of the product as natural when, in reality, the opposite is true.
The case looks to represent a proposed class of consumers nationwide, as well as an Alabama-only subclass, who bought Walmart’s Parent’s Choice Pediatric Shake.