By Stephen Gardner
Nestlé has been sued in California state court for shenanigans involving products of its Gerber division.
Nestlé sells a line of products called Gerber Graduates, aimed at parents whose small children have just started eating solid foods. Because parents understandably want to give healthy snacks to their kids, Nestlé wants to grab the same parents who fed Gerber infant foods to their kids.
However, because it’s cheaper and easier to use fake fruits instead of actually making products that have bananas, sweet potatoes, peaches, and the like, Nestlé tarts up flour and sugar with flavors that may taste like the fruit claimed on the box, but which provides none of the nutritional benefits of the actual fruit.
Side note and fun fact: Natural flavors may not be derived from the named thing. That is, FDA allows companies to call something “natural vanilla flavor” if it is derived from beaver butt glands.
I’m not saying Nestlé did that in this case, but I wouldn’t put it past them.
(Full disclosure: My firm, the Stanley Law Group, brought the case with our co-counsel, Bailey & Glasser and the Sugerman Law Firm.)