No white lie? Whole Foods sued for falsely reporting sugar content in a grocery store staple
When Consumer Reports decided to do a taste test of plain Greek yogurt last month, researchers didn't expect to uncover a potential conspiracy.
Among the yogurt being tested was the Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt, which lists only 2 grams of sugar per serving — a departure from the rest of the yogurts tested which list between 5 and 10 grams of sugar on their products. Surprised by the discrepancy, Consumer Reports decided to do a little digging.
"Too good to be true? To find out, we analyzed six samples of the yogurt from six different lots for sugar content. The results showed an average of 11.4 grams per serving — more than five times what's listed on the label," the article notes.
"[Whole Foods Market]’s act in vastly understating the sugar content . . . is not harmless trivia. For many members of the class, sugar content is an important component of their diet."
Some customers took to social media to express their concern. After one person pointed out the Consumer Reports results on Facebook, Whole Foods Market NYC responded saying, "We strive to only provide the highest quality products with accurate product labeling under our 365 Everyday Value line. This product was tested by a reputable third party lab using FDA-approved testing methodology to determine the labeling. We recognize that Consumer Reports is a trusted publication and are looking into why [its] test results differ from ours."
That answer didn't sit well with a few New Yorkers who have filed a class action lawsuit against the Austin-based grocery chain. About 100 plaintiffs allege that Whole Foods knowingly mislabeled the sugar content in its Greek yogurt. "[Whole Foods Market]’s act in vastly understating the sugar content . . . is not harmless trivia," the suit says. "For many members of the class, sugar content is an important component of their diet."
According to the New York Post, Whole Foods has removed the yogurt in question from shelves.
Despite all of the ruckus, Consumer Reports points out that Greek yogurt — even when high in sugar — can be a healthful source of nutrition. "In the meantime, know that Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt is a nutritious food to be sure. It's rich in protein and calcium and it received an 'Excellent' score for nutrition in our tests, even when we analyzed it with 11.4 grams of sugar," the magazine wrote.