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Deceptive Packaging

Ronzoni Garden Delight Pasta

This California class action takes up the issue of “slack fill” or too much empty space inside containers of consumer goods. The complaint alleges that Riviana Foods, Inc. and New World Pasta Company, which do business as Ronzoni, leave excessive slack fill in their boxes of specialty pasta. This is particularly deceptive, as the specialty boxes are the same size as its regular pasta boxes, but they contain 25% less pasta.

Fitbit Ultra Device

A settlement has been reached in a class action against Fitbit, Inc. The complaint alleged that three of the company’s devices—the Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One, and Fitbit Ultra—do not track sleep as claimed on their packaging. 

Heart-Shaped Box of Russell Stover Chocolates

It’s a new take on the “excessive slack fill” allegation. The complaint for this class action alleges that candy containers from Russell Stover Chocolates, LLC and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company contain deceive consumers because they contain too much nonfunctional empty space. 

Package of Pepperidge Farm Texas Toast

The package for Pepperidge Farm’s Texas Toast shows two thick slices of toasted bread with a yellow spread and parsley flakes, a fresh garlic clove and parsley leaf, pats of butter, and the words, “Made with real Garlic[,] Butter & Parsley.” It looks mouth-wateringly delicious—assuming, of course, that the yellow spread is butter. Unfortunately, the complaint for this class action alleges that most of it is palm and soybean oils, with added coloring, while butter makes up less than two percent of the product.

Lenny & Larry's Complete Cookie, Double Chocolate Flavor

This settlement resolves a class action alleging that Lenny & Larry’s did not correctly state the nutritional value of one of its products, the Complete Cookie. The complaint alleged that this led to misleading advertising, packaging, and labeling. 

Container of Nutrabolt's C4 Powders

Some companies like to package their products in huge containers. With sports nutritional products, it sometimes seems like container bulk is supposed to imply the size of muscles you’ll get if you use the product. The complaint for this class action claims that Nutrabolt’s opaque containers for its Cellucor C4 Pre-Workout Powders big containers are left half-empty—a deceptive practice that’s illegal. 

Box of Annie's Cocoa Bunnies Cereal

The complaint for this class action quotes a study saying that “[t]he average consumer spends a mere 13 seconds making an in-store purchasing decision…” The issue? The complaint alleges that Annie’s Homegrown brand cereal products come in opaque containers which hide the fact that they are approximately 50% empty.

Taste of Nature Cooke Dough Bites

Taste of Nature, Inc. is settling a lawsuit alleging that its candies are packed in non-transparent containers that contain too much non-functional slack fill. In other words, consumers are getting less candy than they expect for the price.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Sensitive 2-in-1 Shave Gel

The complaint for this class action alleges that a certain Proctor & Gamble shave gel has excessive empty space in its container, deceiving consumers about how much product they’re getting. But it also claims that the design of the dispenser is defective, so that consumers get even less out of the can than they purchased. 

Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzels

Consumers make quick judgments when they’re buying items, whether in stores or online, and one of the things that influences them is the size of the packaging. A larger size can indicate a better value, if the box or bottle is opaque; most consumers don’t look at net weight or other details, except for those that really matter to them. The complaint for this class action claims that Boulder Brands USA, Inc. took advantage of this in packaging their Glutino Gluten Free Pretzels, leaving more than 40% empty space in the packages.