Jim Boyle Aug. 14, 2014, 7:10am


A class action suit filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas says that Whole Foods

Markets has made false claims about the nutritional content of its Greek yogurt.

The complaint, filed by the Philadelphia law firm DeNittis Osefchen on the behalf of Carmine Clemente and Samantha Kilgallen, says that the sugar content in the yogurt is higher than the amount claimed on the label.

The class would include any customers of the 10 Whole Foods markets located in Pennsylvania who purchased the Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Plain Greek Yogurt between Aug. 11, 2008 and the present. The plaintiffs' attorneys say that the class could be at least 10,000 customers.

The suit seeks injunctive relief and treble damages for two counts, including violating the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law and breach of warranty.

The complaint stems from a recent test conducted and published by Consumer Reports in July 2014. According to the complaint, six tests were run on the Whole Foods Plain Greek Yogurt, revealing that it contained 11.4 grams of sugar per 170 gram serving. The amount is more than five times the two grams of sugar advertised on the yogurt's nutritional label.

According to the complaint, no other Greek yogurt in the market claims to have two grams of sugar per 170 gram serving, and that the next lowest is five grams, more than twice the Whole Foods product. The suit says the advertised lower sugar content gave Whole Foods an unfair advantage over less expensive competitors.

The false claims have also harmed the diets of health-conscious shoppers who have paid more for the seemingly healthier yogurt, the complaint says. Since the product costs less than $5, it would not be cost-effective to try each case separately, the complaint says, hence the class action.

The case ID number is 140801271.

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