The 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese Claims

In August 2017, a federal judge dismissed several false advertising class-action lawsuits regarding the marketing of various “100% Grated Parmesan Cheese” products.

Five consolidated complaints claiming that numerous companies – including Walmart, Target, Supervalu, The Kraft Heinz Company, Albertsons, ICCO-Cheese Company, and Publix Super Markets – misleadingly market products as being “100% Grated Parmesan Cheese” when, according to plaintiffs, the products contain ingredients other than cheese, were filed after the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the lawsuits.

A federal judge then dismissed the complaints finding that the marketing is not deceptive because the ingredient list on the label discloses that the products contain non-cheese ingredients. The judge also concluded that the “100% Grated Parmesan Cheese” description is ambiguous because there are at least three reasonable interpretations of the phrase: (1) the product is 100% cheese, (2) 100% of the cheese in the product is parmesan, and (3) the parmesan cheese is 100% grated. The dismissal was without prejudice. Plaintiffs have until October 5, 2017, to amend their complaints. (In Re: 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, Case No. 16-cv-5802, N. D. IL.; MDL No. 2705)

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When a complaint is dismissed without prejudice, an amended version of the complaint can be refiled.

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