Kraft Heinz Sued Over Misleading Packaging on Bagel Bites

The packaging for Kraft Heinz’s Bagel Bites is misleading, and does not include “real” cheese, according to a suit filed by Latonya Jackson Saturday in the Northern District of Illinois.

She alleged that the product is in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, as well as federal and state regulations.

The defendant, the complaint says, represents on the labeling of the Bagel Bites product that they are made with real cheese and no artificial flavors. Specifically, the items are said to be “Mini Bagels with Mozzarella, Cheddar, Monterey Jack Cheeses and Tomato Sauce.” Jackson asserts that the language used in the label is misleading due to its omission that “starch, nonfat milk, and whey are added to the “real” mozzarella cheese, and tomatoes are replaced with non-tomato thickeners including cornstarch.”

Other details noted in the complaint include the label identifying the food as having mozzarella cheese, the “real” dairy seal, the “cheese blend” being less nutritious than the packaging alludes and the false representation of the bites as containing “tomato sauce.” Jackson explains that informing consumers of what a product contains is “basic information relied on when making decisions at the store.”

Kraft Heinz breached their basic duty to use honesty when describing their products, making the value of their products higher than it should have been, according to Jackson. Since the defendant allegedly represented their product in a dishonest manner, they “sold more of the Product and at higher prices than it would have in the absence of this misconduct, resulting in additional profits at the expense of consumers.”

Jackson is seeking class certification for two classes, the Illinois Class and the Consumer Fraud Multi-State Class. Specific violations alleged include breaches of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, as well as other state consumer fraud acts. Common law counts include breaches of express warranty, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and unjust enrichment. Jackson is seeking injunctive relief, monetary, statutory, and punitive damages, as well as any other relief deemed proper by the court.

The plaintiff is represented Sheehan & Associates.