Chobani files suit to protect advertising claims

Chobani files suit to protect advertising claims

Chobani has filed a lawsuit in the US in what the company described as a response to Danone's "attempts to stop Chobani" focusing its advertising for Simply 100 Greek Yoghurt on the use of natural versus artificial sweeteners.

According to Chobani, legal representatives for Danone's US business, The Dannon Co., contacted the group and demanded Chobani "immediately discontinue" its advertising campaign for Simply 100. The advertising programme, launched on 6 January, focuses on the nutritional difference between natural and artificial sweeteners. The campaign notes that sucralose, an artificial sweetener found in Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yoghurt, is processed with added chlorine. Chobani said that this prevents sucralose from being broken down into the body for energy, citing data from the FDA to support this claim.

In its filing with the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, Chobani said it is seeking a declaration from the Court that its advertising is not "false, misleading, disparaging or deceptive" and that the USDA nutrient database supports its claim that the product contains "substantially less sugar" than regular yoghurt. 

"Consumers have the right to know what's in their cup. This campaign is fundamentally about choice--the choice between natural ingredients versus artificial ingredients," said Peter McGuinness, chief marketing and brand officer, Chobani. "We're empowering consumers with facts and information to help them make more informed decisions when they're buying food for themselves and their family. We know people are concerned about artificial sweeteners in their food, and this campaign is about giving them truthful and accurate information."

Chobani Simply 100 Greek yoghurt is the only nationally distributed brand of reduced calorie Greek yoghurt that does not contain artificial sweeteners or artificial preservatives, according to the company.

Danone did not immediately respond to requests for comment.