STATES CHRONICLE – General Mills is facing a lawsuit for Cheerios Protein product after claims that the company is misleading consumers. General Mills, makers of the Cheerios Protein cereal, claim in their advertising campaigns for the product that it contains 10 percent of the recommended daily value of protein in each bowl. But a CSPI study claims that the company is misleading its consumers about the nutritional information of the cereal.
According to a class lawsuit filed against the company, the Cheerios Protein only contains a very small increase in protein in comparison to the standard Cheerios cereal. And while the exact difference in the amounts of protein contained is 4 grams, the Cheerios Protein having 4 grams more than the regular cereal, plaintiffs claim this is mainly due to the difference in serving size between the two products: Cheerios Protein has a has a serving of 55 grams, Original Cheerios’ serving in 28 grams.
But there are other big nutritional differences between the two cereals, one of the main ones being the amount of sugar contained by each. According to the labels Cheerios Protein contains 11 grams of protein in each bowl, as boasted on the package. But 4 grams of that protein is attributed to the milk added to the bowl, and only 7 grams to the cereal. This would mean that a 200 calorie serving of Cheerios Protein and one of Original Cheerios have roughly the same protein content.
However, the Cheerios Protein contains other surprise ingredients that differentiate it from the regular cereal, including 8 different types of sugar such as regular sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, caramel and honey, as well as corn syrup solids.
According to CPSI Executive Director Michael Jacobson, General Mills is charging consumers more for a cereal that not only does not contain more protein that the regular version of Cheerios, but also packs in a lot more sugar than the standard version.
While General Mills has claimed that their advertisement of the Cheerios Protein product containing 18 percent more protein than the Original Cheerios is true if measured by weight and that the product is in compliance with the Food and Drug Administration requirements in order to be classed as a good source of protein.
But as this is due mainly to the difference in serving sizes, some consider that the cereal cannot be considered a good quality source of protein and that the company has misrepresented its product.
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