The maker of Kettle brand potato chips is once again under fire over allegations its potato chips are falsely labeled as being “Made with Natural Ingredients” and containing “No Preservatives”.

Plaintiff Denise Mason filed the false advertising class action lawsuit against Diamond Foods in New York federal court this week, claiming its Kettle brand potato chips are falsely labeled as being made with natural ingredients and without preservatives, when in fact they contain the synthetic preservative citric acid.

Consumers have become increasingly conscious in purchasing less processed foods free of additives and are willing to pay more for products that are made with natural ingredients and are free of preservatives. The Kettle brand potato chips class action lawsuit says that Diamond Foods has opted to mislead consumers as to the true nature of their products in order to capitalize on this consumer health trend.

Specifically, the Kettle brand potato chips products at issue in this class action lawsuit include:

  • Organic Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips
  • Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper Krinkle Cut Potato Chips
  • Backyard Barbeque Potato Chips
  • Chili Lime Potato Chips
  • Buffalo Bleu Krinkle Cut Potato Chips
  • Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips
  • Pepperoncini Potato Chips
  • Tropical Salsa Potato Chips
  • Fiery Thai Potato Chips
  • Country Style Barbeque Potato Chips
  • Honey Dijon Potato Chips
  • New York Cheddar Potato Chips

Mason claims that the “No Preservatives” labeling deceives consumers into believing that they are receiving healthier, preservative-free potato chips. Similarly, the “Made with Natural Ingredients” representations are misleading because the Kettle brand potato chips reportedly contain the preservative citric acid – a synthetic compound produced from certain strands of the black mold fungus Aspergillus niger, which is mass produced – as well as the chemical solvent sulfuric acid.

According to the Kettle brand potato chips class action lawsuit, Mason claims she relied on Diamond Foods’ labeling and had she and other consumers known the truth, they would not have purchased the Kettle brand potato chips.

Additionally, the complaint notes that “consumers cannot discover the true nature of the Products from reading the label” and that “discovery of the true nature of the content of the Products requires knowledge of chemistry that is not available to the average reasonable consumer.”

This is not the first time Diamond Foods has been accused of falsely marketing Kettle brand potato chips. In 2015, the company settled a similar class action lawsuit alleging its Kettle brand potato chips were falsely labeled as being “natural” or “preservative-free”.

In bringing this false advertising class action lawsuit, Mason is seeking to represent a nationwide Class of consumers who purchased the Kettle brand potato chip products, along with a New York subclass. She is asking for an order requiring “proper, complete, and accurate labeling of the Products,” as well as monetary and punitive damages.

Mason is represented by Michael J. Gabrielli of Gabrielli Levitt LLP

The Kettle Brand Potato Chips False Advertising Class Action Lawsuit is Denise Mason v. Diamond Foods LLC d/b/a Kettle Foods Inc., Case No. 1:18-cv-06423-GHW, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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