A class action lawsuit claims that Bio-Nutritional Research Group’s Power Crunch protein bars do not contain the advertised, characterizing ingredients. According to plaintiff Hipolito Baez, Bio-Nutritional Research Group falsely markets their products to make them seem more attractive to prospective consumers.  The Power Crunch class action lawsuit claims that the Chocolate Mint bar does not really contain mint oil, the Salted Caramel bar does not contain caramel, the French Vanilla Crème bar does not contain vanilla flavoring or vanilla extract, and the Wild Berry Crème bar does not contain wild berry puree. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this with Scott Hardy from Top Class Actions.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Farron Cousins:                  Over the last year, we’ve talked a lot about food products here on this program that claim to contain one thing only to find out that they don’t really contain it. But this might be one of the first times ever we’ve had to talk about a product that isn’t the actual product that it claims to be. This is a very interesting story. It is about the Bio-Nutritional Research Group’s Power Crunch protein bar and I have Scott Hardy with Top Class Actions here with me to tell us what’s happening.

And Scott, as I said, we’ve talked a lot, you know, sometimes they say, oh, we have all natural ingredients when in fact they don’t, no preservatives when in fact they do have preservatives. This case isn’t exactly like that. This is like blatant, I don’t want to say false advertising, but I also want to say false advertising with what this company’s doing with their protein bars. Take it away.

Scott Hardy:                          Yeah, when I read through it, I felt the same way. I was like, all right, well, another, you know, no natural flavorings. I don’t know if we want to cover this. And then we read through it. I went, holy moly, this is a lot. We’ve already received over a hundred comments on this article. And the class action lawsuit claims that the chocolate mint bar does not really contain mint oil. The salted caramel bar does not actually contain carmel. The French vanilla cream bar does not contain vanilla flavoring or vanilla extract. And the wild berry cream bar, oh, also does not actually contain wild berry puree.

So we have a number of products here that simply just, I don’t know what the heck is in them, but it sure doesn’t appear that the ingredients that are on their label are in the bars themselves. So the mislabeling here is a major problem. When you have people that are trying to eat healthier, trying to possibly lose weight, they’re, you know, they’re in the gym, they’re trying to get these Power Crunch bars as a healthier option. But low and behold, some of the main ingredients aren’t even in there that they, that they should be.

Farron Cousins:                  You know, it to me, it’s almost like buying a pack of M and M’s, but it’s just the shell. There’s nothing inside of it. You know, where, where’s the actual thing that that’s supposed to be in here? Buying Oreos without the cream in the middle. I mean that, that’s kind of what we’re looking at here. If you buy something that’s called a salted caramel bar, it’s reasonable to think that, oh, there’s salted caramel in this. Oh, this is chocolate mint, I bet I’m going to taste chocolate and meant in this, and I’m sure it’s somewhere on that ingredient package. So this, this is kind of blatant what this company is doing here.

It’s just saying slap a label on it, put a name on it, list some flavors in the title of it and we’ll call it a day. But, but that’s not how it works. People are buying these things, which, you know, not to, not the most expensive, but certainly not the cheapest out there. They’re buying them because they see these names, they see these titles on them and they say, hey, I am trying to be healthier. I do want the protein bar. I like these flavors. I’m making this choice based on that. And when they lie about it, they’ve taken that choice away from us.

Scott Hardy:                          They sure have. I mean, if you’re buying the wild berry cream Power Crunch bar, you are expecting that there are some wild berries in there in that puree and not just flavorings and extracts and synthetic, the synthetic equivalent of wild berry cream. It’s pretty cut and dry when you take a look at some of these class actions. And this one, I, I really hope that Bio-Nutritional Research Group actually works for their customers because there are probably people out there that love these bars and had no idea that they’re not actually getting the ingredients that they’re promised on that wrapper.

Hopefully they’ll come forth and say, yes, we’re sorry, we are fixing it. We are coming out with real, all natural. We’re going to put caramel in our caramel bars and fruit in our fruit bars. How about that? That would be wonderful.

Farron Cousins:                  Very, very novel idea actually putting in your product what you claim is already in your product. And it’s sad that, you know, I mean we, we, we laugh about that, but that really you and I have talked about this too many times. We have just seen too many companies doing these kinds of things and for the most part it’s because if nobody were to challenge these with these lawsuits, they would continue to get away with it. We as consumers would be paying a premium for something that doesn’t technically exist. And that is why these lawsuits are so important. It’s not just because somebody didn’t get caramel when they wanted caramel. It’s because the company’s not being honest with you and they just charged you more money for something that’s not even there.

Scott Hardy:                          Exactly. If you put it on the box, let’s put it in the box. Don’t just print it. Let’s see it. Make sure that you’re not just making it taste good that you are, but you’re giving us what’s promised and your customers will be happy and the class action lawyers we work with will be unhappy because they can’t file a case against you.

Farron Cousins:                  For more information about this issue, please follow the link in the description of this video. Head on over to Top Class Actions and while you’re there make sure you sign up for their weekly newsletter. Scott Hardy with Top Class Actions. Always a pleasure talking to you.

Scott Hardy:                          Great talking to you too, Farron. Thank you.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced