December 8, 2021

Volume XI, Number 342

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December 07, 2021

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December 06, 2021

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Lawsuit Challenges Fries Made with Cornmeal

On November 14, 2021, a class-action lawsuit was filed in an Illinois District Court against Inventure Foods, Inc. for allegedly falsely and deceptively marketing its Cheddar Cheese Flavored Crunchy Fries Snacks (Baked) as “fries” when they were predominantly made up of cornmeal and not potato.

The fries at issue are sold under the TGI Fridays brand name and disclose on the ingredient list that “whole grain corn meal” and “enriched cornmeal” are the first and second most predominant ingredients. “Potato flakes,” which are alleged to be “chunks of dehydrated mashed potato,” are listed as the fourth most predominant ingredient.

The lawsuit alleges that consumers expect that products advertised as “fries” will predominantly consist of potatoes and that consumers value potatoes “for their distinctive taste and nutritive properties.”

The complaint only cites only to statutory provisions that prohibit false and deceptive advertising generally and states that “[d]ictionaries define ‘fries’ as long thin pieces of fried potato.” It also is unable to point to any technical violation of FDA’s regulations or data showing that consumers are deceived by fries made from cornmeal. While further evidence of consumer deception will ultimately be needed if the case is to survive a motion for summary judgment, we will monitor and report on this case to see if the allegations are deemed sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss.

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 327
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About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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