SAN FRANCISCO — Kellogg Co. has agreed to pay approximately $30 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging it misled consumers by using health and nutrition claims to market high-sugar cereal and breakfast bars.
The suit, which was filed in August 2016, centered around claims used to advertise Raisin Bran, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Smart Start, Crunchy Nut and Krave cereal brands as well as Nutri-Grain snack bars. In addition to paying millions of dollars to consumers, the settlement requires Kellogg to stop using phrases such as “healthy,” “wholesome” and “nutritious” on the products for at least three years. Kellogg also agreed to remove or limit “heart health” claims on Smart Start and Raisin Bran cereals, remove the phrase “lightly sweetened” from Frosted Mini-Wheats and Smart Start and refrain from using “no high-fructose corn syrup” to market Nutri-Grain products.
A federal judge in the Northern District of California granted preliminary approval for the agreement. A final hearing is scheduled for early 2020. If approved, the company will set aside $12 million in cash and $8 million in vouchers, along with $11 million in injunctive relief. Consumers could receive up to $10 in cash and $20 in vouchers per person.
The settlement comes just months after another judge in the same district dismissed a similar lawsuit against General Mills. In the case, plaintiffs also alleged that products were not as healthy as represented.