We reached a settlement requiring General Mills to improve the labeling on Cheerios Protein cereal, which has much more sugar and marginally more protein than original Cheerios.
In November 2015, CSPI's Litigation Department and its co-counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of several classes of consumers alleging that General Mills falsely and misleadingly markets Cheerios Protein as a high-protein and healthful alternative to original Cheerios.
The complaint alleged that the company misled consumers by giving them the impression that the main factor distinguishing Cheerios Protein from original Cheerios was the amount of protein. In fact, though the cereals have different serving sizes, two ounces of each cereal has just about the same amount of protein. Cheerios Protein, however, has 16 to 17 times as much sugar as the original, according to the lawsuit.
In July 2018, the parties reached a Settlement Agreement. The Agreement requires General Mills to stop adding the four grams of protein from milk to the seven grams of protein from the cereal when it states the protein content on the front panel of Cheerios Protein boxes. The Agreement also requires General Mills to state more prominently on labels for Cheerios Protein that the cereal is sweetened.