Food Marketing News

Published on April 23rd, 2014 | by Jennifer Kaplan


Trader Joe’s Settles False ‘Natural’ Advertising Lawsuit

Trader Joe's False Natural Advertising

Trader Joe’s joins a growing list of companies to be sued for false ‘natural’ advertising.

Its becoming an old story: Food producers labeling foods ‘all natural’ or ‘100% natural’ when they are not truly ‘all natural.‘ The problem lies in the fact that the term ‘natural’ is unregulated and virtually meaningless. As a result, consumers (egged on by lawyers) are forcing companies to mend their ways or as I like to say, self-regulate.

For some companies, like Naked Juice and Chobani, the products contain GMO ingredients. For others, like  Skinnygirl Cocktails  and Frito Lay’s SunChips, its because they labeled some of their products as ‘natural’, when they in fact contained synthetic ingredients. This is what Trader Joes is charged with.

They following products were labeled as ‘all natural’or ‘100% natural’ but contain ascorbic acid, cocoa processed with alkali, sodium acid pyrophosphate, xanthan gum, vegetable monoglycerides and vegetable diglycerides:

  • Joe-Joe’s Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies;
  • Joe-Joe’s Chocolate Sandwich Creme Cookies;
  • Trader Joe’s Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls;
  • Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Biscuits;
  • Trader Giotto’s 100% Natural Fat Free Ricotta Cheese;
  • Trader Joe’s Fresh Pressed Apple Juice

Surprised? Not really. Many of these lawsuits are laughable. Like Coca-Cola and Popchips claiming to be ‘healthy and natural.’ Go figure.

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About the Author

is a former marketing consultant who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn her hand to creative non-fiction. Jennifer continues to write about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - follow her on and .

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