MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. on July 17 reached a settlement in a lawsuit dating back nearly three years that alleged the Minneapolis-based company was deceptively marketing the amount of protein and sugar contained in Cheerios Protein cereal.
In addition to an undisclosed financial settlement, General Mills said it has agreed to change the font size of the standard of identity (“Sweetened Whole Grain Corn and Oat Cereal with Crunchy Almond Granola Clusters and Real Cinnamon” or “Sweetened Whole Grain Corn and Oat Granola Clusters and Real Honey”) on the front of package so that the font size is at least half the font size used for the word “protein” that appears directly below the word “Cheerios” on the front of package.
The company also agreed to change the symbol on the front of package that reads “11 grams protein with milk” to “7 grams protein.”
General Mills has denied any liability with respect to any of the facts and claims alleged in the complaints but ultimately decided to settle the suit in order to avoid “the substantial burden, expense, inconvenience, distraction and interference with its ongoing business operations."
“General Mills has determined that settlement … is in its best interests,” the settlement agreement noted. “This settlement shall not be construed or deemed to be a concession by General Mills of any merit in the claims asserted in the complaint.”