Lawsuits stir while the top yogurt brands in the dairy industry battle it out to be known as the "most natural." It’s not clear who will come out on top, but Chobani continues to slam its competitors for using artificial ingredients and preservatives.
On Jan. 5 Chobani launched a series of ads for its new yogurt product called Simply 100, a low-calorie Greek-style yogurt. An ad depicting a woman at a fruit stand denegrates yogurt maker General Mills by stating the company's Yoplait Greek 100 contains potassium sorbate, which Chobani claims is used “to kill bugs”.
Watch the video below:
General Mills is suing Chobani for false advertising.
"The statements made by Chobani in their latest attempt to sell more yogurt are inaccurate and misleading, and we don't think consumers appreciate that kind of approach," says General Mills spokesperson Mike Siemienas.
Another ad in the series shows a woman reaching for a cup of Dannon while voices in the background claim Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt contains sucralose.
Watch the video below:
Dannon served Chobani a cease-and-desist order demanding the commercial be removed from the internet. Chobani, in turn, is suing Dannon over its attempt to block the ad.
"Chobani is seeking a declaration from the Court that Chobani's advertising for its Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurt products is not false, misleading, disparaging or deceptive and that Chobani's reliance on the USDA nutrient database to support its claims that its Greek Yogurt contains substantially less sugar than regular yogurt are not false or misleading," Chobani officials say.
In a statement, Dannon officials noted sucralose is an FDA-approved ingredient and added they believe in honest and fair marketing, and plan to move forward with legal action. "We intend to pursue all available avenues to address Chobani's misleading and deceptive marketing," officials say.
According to Chobani’s chief marketing and brand officer, Peter McGuiness, says Chobani is only trying to give customers the food transparency they crave.
"We're empowering consumers with facts and information to help them make more informed decisions," he says. "We know people are concerned about artificial sweeteners in their food, and this campaign is about giving them truthful and accurate information.”