Kellogg pays for iffy Mini-Wheats claims

The company was accused of falsely advertising its popular cereal's nutritional benefits to children.

By Bruce Kennedy May 29, 2013 4:15PM

Boxes of Kellogg's Organic Frosted Mini Wheats
© Alicia Earns/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesKellogg (K) will pay $4 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the cereal giant of sugar-coating nutritional claims for its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal.


The lawsuit claimed Kellogg falsely advertised that Frosted Mini-Wheats "improved kids' attentiveness, memory and other cognitive functions to a degree not supported by competent clinical evidence," according to the website created for administration of the settlement.


Consumers who bought Frosted Mini-Wheats in the U.S. between January 28, 2008 and October 1, 2009 can be reimbursed $5 per box of the cereal for up to three boxes. Any leftover settlement money will be donated to charity.


The company denies any wrongdoing, saying that the advertising campaign at the heart of the settlement ran four years ago, according to Food Business News.


Both sides originally agreed to a $10.6 million settlement -- with Kellogg setting up funds for class action members as well as donating $5.5 million worth of products to charity, paying for legal fees and refraining from certain ad claims for a three-year period.


But last year the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that settlement, saying the charitable distribution element "neither identifies the ultimate recipients . . . nor sets forth any limiting restriction on those recipients."


A hearing on the current settlement is scheduled for September. If approved by the court and there are no appeals, cash payments would be distributed soon afterward.


“We tell consumers that they should deal with trusted national brands,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a 2009 statement regarding the Kellogg settlement. “So it’s especially important that America’s leading companies are more 'attentive' to the truthfulness of their ads and don’t exaggerate the results of tests or research.”


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389Comments
May 29, 2013 10:11PM
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This is so stupid. As far as I can remember the commercial said that kids that had a good breakfast did better in school. People need to find something better to do with themselves.

 

May 29, 2013 10:09PM
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Like all these class action suits, it's the sleazy lawyers who profit.
May 29, 2013 9:23PM
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I guess anyone who saved their receipts for four years were smarter than I am. My family ate these a lot and really enjoyed them. Great product Kellogg's, sorry for your fine.
May 29, 2013 10:06PM
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See- and I, like any normal person, took those claims to mean that eating breakfast in general did those things.   People are ridiculous.
May 29, 2013 10:07PM
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I want to remark on the state of frivolous lawsuits in this country, or comment on how stupid someone must be to believe a cereal can improve cognitive abilities, but I'll just settle on calling this whole affair ridiculous.
May 29, 2013 10:07PM
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What a country we live in. Buy it eat it sue and get twice what you paid for it . End result cereal prices go up. AGAIN. I thought we had passed legislation about frivolous lawsuits. But then we passed laws about cell  phone usage, Immigration etc and don't enforce them either.
May 29, 2013 10:17PM
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Wow this is just ridiculous. My family have been eating them for years. Its not the cereal that helps with brain function its the eating breakfast period. Studies have shown that children who eat breakfast do better in school than those who don't. People need to get over themselves and stop blaming food companies for the bad choices they make.
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My kids and I have been eating Mini-wheat for years. They are not particularly healthy but they are delicious. So I don't care.
May 29, 2013 10:13PM
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I am eating a bowl now , i don.t want money for eating what i have loved for over 50 years .
May 29, 2013 10:16PM
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How many people have proof they bought these boxes back then. The problem is we have too many lawyers.
May 29, 2013 10:16PM
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anyone who sues for such a lame reason shold be taken out ti the back 40 and smacked senseless..   My kids and I love this cereal ..  I swear "stupid" humans
May 29, 2013 10:08PM
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If only the cereal improved adult attentiveness, memory, and cognitive functioning I would have the foresight to save my receipts.   
May 29, 2013 10:28PM
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The most important sentence in this article:  "with Kellogg setting up funds for class action members as well as donating $5.5 million worth of products to charity, paying for legal fees and refraining from certain ad claims for a three-year period. "  Legal fees, I bet the lawyers get more than 5 dollars a box with a maximum of 3 boxes.   I wonder where class action lawsuits come from...probably not a wronged consumer wanting to get 15 dollars after a 4 year legal battle....

May 29, 2013 10:16PM
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ATE THEM A LOT. STILL EAT THEM. NEVER KEPT THE RECEIPTS.
TASTE DAMN GOOD THOUGH.

May 29, 2013 10:13PM
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Obviously the ones who needed the attentiveness were the idiot parents who bought a cereal with the name frosted in the name thinking it was healthy.
May 29, 2013 10:33PM
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$15 max payout, will be interesting to see how many saved receipts for 4 years. It would take a good sized warehouse to file all store receipts. If you buy a product and don't think it lives up to claims return it for a refund, end of story. But when there slimy lawers involved anything goes. More over is a consumers time so worthless that they would even take the time to try to collect. I wish the judge would toss the whole thing out and make the plaintiff's pay the legal fees of kelloggs.

 

 

May 29, 2013 10:24PM
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It took a long time for some ding ding to figure out he could up to $15 in a lawsuit. Stupid parents bought the cereal and didn't read the box or maybe they read the box and their kids still didn't have cognitive functions, attentiveness or any memory. DAAAA  LOL   This rates like the dumb woman who burned herself of a cup of hot coffee from Mickey D's.
May 29, 2013 10:12PM
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I love mini wheats whether the claims are as stated or not.Yummmy
May 29, 2013 10:08PM
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Common sense should trump advertising. Would be nice if everything wasn't so heavily processed and sugared up though. Tough to find truly "healthy" food anymore.
May 29, 2013 11:44PM
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Can I sue RedBull? I have drank it for years and still have no wings. I drank a 5 Hour Energy and fell asleep in 2 hours. I use Axe products and women still don't chase me.


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