Aldi is at the heart of a class action lawsuit for allegedly mislabeling its own brand fruit and grain bars, according to reporting from Newsweek.
A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Central California on May 30 claims that the retailer mislabeled its Millville Fruit & Grain cereal bars. Aldi says the bars are “naturally flavored,” but the lawsuit alleges there is indeed artificial flavoring in the bars.
The lawsuit demands just under $10 million in damages for customers who bought the product in the past four years and additionally alleges Aldi’s packaging violates several California codes.
According to tests, the synthetic flavoring agent “DL malic acid” was discovered in the cereal bars. Listed in the ingredients is malic acid, which can be produced naturally, but the lawsuit alleges that DL malic acid, specifically, is being used, which would then make it an artificial ingredient.
The lawsuit says this “misrepresented and deceived consumers regarding the flavoring in the products for the purpose of enriching itself.” The suit also says there is financial motivation behind labeling products as “naturally flavored”, which allegedly led Aldi to make the claim.
Malic acid, according to the lawsuit, is produced naturally but the process is expensive and is not done very often in large quantities.
Aldi did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
Aldi, headquartered in Batavia, Ill., is also dealing with a case in Illinois that accuses the discount retailer of inflating the number of half-cup servings on its 42-ounce oatmeal boxes, as reported by media company Tasting Table. The packaging says consumers can get about 30 servings out of the box, but a lawsuit claims that only around 26 are available. The larger claim allows Aldi to mark the product with a higher price.