A $1.5 million settlement was reached between the parties in the Utz Quality Foods labeling class action on December 6, 2017.
The suit was originally filed in December 2014 in Massachusetts federal court by named plaintiffs Matt DiFrancesco, Angela Mizzoni and Lynn Marrapodi. In the complaint the plaintiffs argued that Utz deceptively labeled some of the brand’s snack foods as “all natural” when in reality the plaintiffs claim the products contain unnatural, genetically-modified ingredients including cottonseed oil, corn oil, yellow corn, white corn, vinegar, maltodextium, modified food starch, modified corn starch, corn syrup and soy lecithin.
In addition to the above listed ingredients, plaintiffs have further claimed that the Utz “all natural” regular potato chips, honey wheat pretzel sticks and restaurant-style tortillas contain synthetic and artificial ingredients such as dextrose, malic acid, potassium chloride and citric acid.
Utz is accused of exploiting the public’s perception that products labeled “all natural” are better, healthier and, in general, more wholesome than other products in order to make a profit. Specifically, the complaint accuses Utz of breach of express warranty, engaging in deceptive acts or practices, unjust enrichment and misleading advertising. The $1.5 million settlement must be approved by U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock.
The case is: DiFrancesco et al. v. UTZ Quality Foods Inc., Case No.: 1:14-cv-14744, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
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