General Nutrition Centers Inc. and the company that makes 2:1 Protein Bars® have settled class claims filed in California alleging that the companies misbranded four flavors in the product line by “allegedly overstat[ing] their protein content and understat[ing] their sugar and carbohydrate content.” Cagle v. Anti-Aging Essentials, Inc., No. 11-02940 (U.S. Dist. Ct., C.D. Cal., motion for preliminary approval of proposed settlement filed October 17, 2011).
While the companies apparently reformulated the bars and labels before the lawsuit was filed, they have agreed to comply with federal labeling laws in the future and to provide three free protein bars to class members who have been identified through online purchase records or their use of customer loyalty cards. Consumers who can prove their purchases with receipts will receive free replacement bars under the proposed settlement, if the court approves it. Consumers without proof of purchase would be able to receive buy-one-getone- free coupons for the products. The named class representatives would receive $5,000 each as an incentive award under the proposal. The defendants have also agreed not to oppose up to $165,000 in attorney’s fees and costs.