A consumer has alleged that TGI Friday’s Inc. misleads consumers with the name of its “Potato Skins,” including the “Cheddar & Bacon,” “Bacon Ranch” and “Sour Cream & Onion” varieties, because the products contain only “potato flakes” and “potato starch.” Troncoso v. TGI Friday’s Inc., No. 19-2735 (S.D.N.Y., filed March 27, 2019). The plaintiff alleges that the “labeling deceives consumers into believing that they are receiving a healthier snack, but Defendant’s products do not live up to these claims.”

“The online version of the San Francisco Chronicle, sfgate.com, published an article titled, ‘The Benefits of Eating Potato Skins,’ touting many nutritional benefits in consuming potato skins, noting their high content of vitamin B-6, vitamin C, thiamin, niacin, iron, potassium, magnesium, and fiber,” the plaintiff asserts. “Similar articles and blog posts can be found on the Internet, where many reasonable consumers believe it to be the case.” The complaint explains that during potato-flakes production, potatoes are peeled and the potato skins are “treated as a zero-value waste product”; thus, the plaintiff argues, TGI Friday’s “potato skins” product containing only “potato flakes” cannot contain its namesake ingredient. The plaintiff seeks class certification, restitution, damages, a corrective advertising campaign, an injunction and attorney’s fees for alleged violations of New York consumer-protection statutes and fraud.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.