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Local News

June 24, 2014

NYC firm sues Chobani over descriptions

A New York City law firm recently filed a class action suit against the manufacturers of Chobani yogurt.

The company, which has offices in Norwich, issued a statement about the legal action Monday saying “we have proudly built Chobani on being truly authentic and totally transparent, and fully stand behind our products and our craft.

The complaint, filed Jun,19 in the United States District Court Eastern District of New York, was brought by Lee Litigation Group PLLC for plaintiffs Barry Stoltz of Westchester and Allan Chang of Queens.

Among the allegations, it says the yogurt is not as healthy and nutritious as the company claims, including misrepresenting the sweetener, evaporated sugar cane.

“Eating a Chobani yogurt is no different (in fact many times worse) than eating ice cream because its sugar content may be higher,” the suit said. It also faulted the company’s claim to be “Greek” yogurt, saying several other nations have been credited with being the place of origin of the strained yogurt method used.

According to the Chobani statement, equating the yogurt to an ice cream bar is “like comparing apples and watermelons.” The company said the product is “packed with protein” and uses real fruit.

“Like English muffins and French fries, Greek yogurt is a product description about how we authentically make our yogurt and not about where we make our yogurt in upstate New York and Idaho,” the statement said. “We market our products transparently with labeling that is clear, commonly understood and widely used and all of our labels comply with all laws and regulations.”

In other news Monday, U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer announced that Chobani and Upstate Niagara won a bid to supply yogurt for a federal school lunch pilot program. The program will provide yogurt to students in Arizona, California, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, New York and Mississippi for the first month of the school year.

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