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Proposed Class Action FDUTPA Lawsuit: Combos Lack Adequate “Real Cheese”


According to a report from WFTV, a Florida man has filed a (proposed) class action lawsuit against Mars Inc—the multi-billion dollar food conglomerate—on the grounds that its “Combos” snack product does not actually contain adequate “real cheese” as indicated by the packaging. The complaint alleges a violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA). Here, our Miami FDUTPA lawyers provide a more in-depth overview of the proposed class action deceptive marketing lawsuit.

The Allegations: Deceptive Marketing on Combos Packaging 

A Fort Myers, FL man named Edward Pistorio initiated a deceptive trade practices lawsuit against Mars, Inc.—the parent company of Combos snacks. Within the proposed class action complaint, Mr. Pistorio contends that the company engaged in deceptive marketing due to the insufficient amount of “real cheese” that is included in their products. The lawsuit emphasizes that  the cheddar cheese-flavored Combos boasts on its packaging that it has a “filling made with REAL CHEESE” alongside “natural flavors.” However, the snack product’s actual composition allegedly contains less than 2 percent cheese blend. The lawsuit argues that the snack’s substitution of real cheese with palm oil and more general dairy product solids misleads ordinary and reasonable consumers about its nutritional value and detracts from the expected quality and flavor. It is a proposed class action.

 FDUTPA Bars Deceptive and Unfair Business Practices

 The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is designed to protect consumers and legitimate businesses from unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent practices in trade and commerce. FDUTPA prohibits a wide range of misconduct, including false advertising, misrepresentation of products or services, and other unethical business tactics that could mislead or harm consumers. The act empowers individuals, as well as the state, to take legal action against violators to prevent deceptive practices and obtain damages for affected parties.

 An FDUTPA Claim Could Potentially Be Certified as a Class Action Lawsuit 

A class action lawsuit is a legal proceeding where a group of people with similar grievances against a defendant are represented collectively by a member of the group. An FDUTPA claim could be certified as a class action if the alleged deceptive or unfair business practices have affected many individuals in a similar manner. For certification, the court must determine that:

  1. There are common issues of law or fact across the class members’ cases;
  2. Collective action is more efficient than individual lawsuits;
  3. The representative plaintiff can adequately protect the interests of the class; and
  4. The class is sufficiently large to justify a class action approach.

Get Help From Deceptive Trade Practices Attorneys in Miami

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida FDUTPA lawyers are standing by, ready to review your case and determine what comes next. If you have any questions about class action FDUTPA cases, we can help. Contact us now for a fully private review of your case. With an office in Miami and an office in West Palm Beach, we take on deceptive and unfair business practices cases across South Florida.



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