$5 Million Legal Blues for Strawberry Pop-Tarts Tarnishes Childhood Memories

Herbie J Pilato

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The Classic TV Preservation Society

According to USA Today, Kellogg’s faces a $5 million legal fee for not having enough strawberries in its Pop-Tarts. A class-action suit filed by Anita Harris in the Southern District of Illinois, argues that the Kellogg Sales Company is misleading consumers by promoting nostalgic favorite breakfast treat with labels and marketing that imply the fruit filling contains "a greater relative and absolute amount of strawberries than it does.”

According to the brand's nutrition label, “Frosted Strawberry Toaster Pastries” contain 2% less “dried strawberries, dried pears, dried apples” and “red 40.”

Harris claims the Pop-Tarts “cannot provide a true strawberry taste” since it is overwhelmed by “significant amounts” of pears and apples. She claims the red food coloring misleads the buyer with a “false impression” that the pastries contain more strawberries.

The lawsuit goes on to cite the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, which says deceptive acts such as “false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation or the concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact” is unlawful.

Either way, there goes my childhood memories, which are now tarnished. I used to love Pop-Tarts of all flavors when I would watch Saturday morning cartoons while growing up in Rochester, New York in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Many times I never even toasted the Pop-Tarts and enjoyed them cold, periodically taking them out into the cold, and nixed those cartoons altogether.

Processed food or not, the emotional need that Pop-Tarts filled outweighed the amount of sugar that each morsel may have contained.

Some things change, I guess.

Some things do not.

Either way, I hope it all works out, for breakfast treats around the whole, and everyone who enjoys them.

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Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including biographies of Mary Tyler Moore, and "Bewitched" star Elizabeth Montgomery. He also writes for Emmys.com, TVWriter.com, and is the host and an executive producer of "Then Again with Herbie J Pilato," a classic TV talk show.

Los Angeles, CA
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