According to a putative class action complaint, Kodiak Cakes LLC and Baker Mills Inc. deliberately mislead consumers by labeling Kodiak Cakes pancake and waffle mixes as containing 14 grams of protein despite allegedly containing only 11.5 grams. Hinkley v. Baker Mills Inc., No. 21-221 (D. Utah, filed April 13, 2021). “Consumers are increasingly health conscious and, as a result, many consumers seek foods high in protein to support weight loss, exercise, and general fitness, among other perceived health benefits of protein consumption,” the plaintiffs argue. “To capitalize on this trend, Defendants prominently label their Kodiak Cakes products as providing specific amounts of protein per serving depending on the product, such as ’14g protein’ on the label of its Buttermilk Flapjack and Waffle Mix. Consumers, in turn, reasonably expect that each product will provide the actual amount of protein per serving that the label claims it will. In truth, however, Defendants’ products do not deliver the amount of protein that the labels claim. Based on amino acid content testing, Defendants’ products contain approximately 17% less protein than claimed, meaning, for example, rather than having 14 grams of protein per serving, Defendants’ Buttermilk Flapjack and Waffle Mix product actually has only 11.5 grams.”

The complaint further asserts that the quality of protein in Kodiak Cakes is “of low biological value to humans” because it is “pea protein and wheat protein.” The plaintiffs seek class certification, an injunction, damages and restitution for allegations of unjust enrichment and fraud as well as alleged violations of New York, Florida and Illinois consumer-protection statutes.

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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.

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