Another company is in hot water as it’s facing the gavel over what one plaintiff says is misleading packaging of its supermarket snack food.
Amy Joseph filed suit as the first plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit claiming that “TGI Fridays Mozzarella Snack Sticks,” a grocery store snack food item that is made by the defendants- Inventure Foods Inc. and TGI Fridays Inc. is “misbranded.”
Joseph claimed that the product is misleading due to the fact that the item’s packaging clearly states, “Mozzarella Stick Snacks,” when it does not actually contain mozzarella cheese.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District Of Illinois states, “Despite its label, the Product does not contain mozzarella cheese; rather, it contains cheddar cheese.”
Joseph’s claim states that this puts the defendants in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices Act and “the respective state-law claims for consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices in all fifty states and the District of Columbia on behalf of herself and the nationwide class.”
In the lawsuit, Joseph said that in January 2021, she purchased a six-pack of the mozzarella cheese sticks on Amazon for $22.95 and argued that because she only saw the front label without being provided a product description detailing its ingredients, she mistakenly believed that she was buying mozzarella sticks that actually contained mozzarella cheese, not cheddar.
Joseph said she believes that she is entitled to relief as the suit reads the defendants “‘individually and acting jointly, collectively, and in concert together, created, developed, reviewed, authorized, and are responsible for the textual and graphic content on the packaging of the Products,’ including the misrepresentation that the Product contained mozzarella cheese.”
As reported by Today,
On Nov. 28, a Chicago federal judge ruled that the lawsuit could in fact move forward against Inventure Foods, but not TGI Fridays. The court granted TGIF’s motion to be dismissed from the suit, ruling that the restaurant as a franchisor could not be responsible for any misbranding since all it did was license its trademarked logo to Inventure Foods who then made the snack in question.
Joseph’s lead lawyer, Thomas A. Zimmerman, Jr. told TODAY.com, “We are pleased with the judge’s ruling. The judge agreed with us that the claims in the lawsuit have merit, the case should not be dismissed, and the case may proceed against Inventure Foods as a nationwide class action lawsuit. We intend to proceed against Inventure Foods on behalf of the nationwide class of purchasers of TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks.”