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Thank goodness we know certain processed cheese snacks are questionable.
A potential nationwide class action over the lack of mozzarella cheese in frozen TGI Friday’s Mozzarella Snack Sticks can proceed against manufacturer/distributor Inventure Foods Inc., but not against TGI Friday’s Inc., which merely licensed its name to the manufacturer, a federal judge in Chicago ruled Monday, according to Reuters.
In a suit filed early last year, plaintiff Amy Joseph accused both TGIF and Inventure of misleading consumers by calling the bagged snacks “mozzarella” sticks when the ingredients list says they are made with cheddar cheese, of which consumers would wish to pay less for if they only knew, the wire service reported.
Inventure argued that it never said the product contained any mozzarella, and that no reasonable consumer would believe a “shelf-stable, crunchy snack product” contained actual mozzarella. It also questioned Ms. Joseph’s “motives for purchasing the product,” noting that she has filed at least eight other consumer class actions in the past decade.
The judge denied Inventure’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, stating Ms. Joseph plausibly alleged that a reasonable consumer would believe “a product labeled ‘Mozzarella Stick Snacks’ with an image of mozzarella sticks would bear some resemblance to mozzarella sticks, which presumably contain some mozzarella cheese” – especially since the TGIF logo “has a strong correlation to the appetizer mozzarella sticks,” the wire service reported.