Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. is facing another attempt at a class-action lawsuit in California targeting its delicacies, this time being accused of having misleading nutritional labels.
The complaint was filed Thursday in the Central District of California with a request for a jury trial.
Krispy Kreme spokeswoman Sarah Roof said Monday the company has a policy of not commenting on active litigation. Also being sued is franchisee Great Circle Family Foods LLC.
Plaintiff Jacqueline Salem of Beverly Hills accused the companies of “feeding false information to consumers in order to deceive them into making purchases that they would otherwise not make to obtain an unfair and unjust benefit.”
California law is considered to have a low bar for proving violations of the business and professions code, as well as false advertising and breach of contract.
Salem said she ate an apple fritter “on a reoccurring basis” at Krispy Kreme shops from 2013 through this month. She claims to have used a company nutritional guide in making her purchase. The guide was presented as an exhibit in her complaint.
Krispy Kreme advertises that its apple fritter “is brimming with cinnamon flavor and contains bite-size chunks of real apple. And, of course, our signature glaze adds a satisfying finishing touch.”
Salem said she specifically chose an apple fritter because the nutritional chart listed it as having 4 grams of sugar and 210 calories. The same chart listed an original glazed doughnut with 10 grams of sugar and 190 calories. Most regular-sized specialty doughnuts ranged from seven to 34 grams of sugar, and from 190 to 400 calories
Krispy Kreme’s website lists 28 grams of sugar and 390 calories for the apple fritter, with a caloric breakdown of 47 percent fat, 49 percent carbs and 4 percent protein.
Salem accuses the companies of trying “to take advantage of consumers who are actively trying to make healthier and more conscientious decisions about what they consume.”
Salem is requesting restitution for herself and potential class-action members, as well a court order for Krispy Kreme to change its nutritional listings. Krispy Kreme apple fritters typically cost between $1.09 and $1.29 each.
Salem’s counsel could not be reached Monday to determine how many apple fritters that Salem bought per week or per month.
Salem said she would not have chosen the apple fritter if not for the sugar and caloric nutritional listing.
Salem said in August she was told by a manager at a Krispy Kreme shop that the sugar and caloric totals for the apple fritter were incorrect. She said she found out on Krispy Kreme’s website that the apple fritter had 26 grams of sugar and 350 calories.
“Plaintiff was shocked and disturbed at hearing this information,” according to the lawsuit.
“Specifically, defendants have been purposefully, intentionally and willfully misleading their consumers into believing that two of the most important nutritional components of their doughnuts (sugar and calories) are a fraction of what they are” for the apple fritter.
The Salem lawsuit comes six months after the voluntary dismissal in April of another class-action attempt against Krispy Kreme in the same California court.
The complaint filed Nov. 9 by Jason Saidian focused on his claim that he purchased Krispy Kreme’s chocolate-iced raspberry-filled, glazed raspberry-filled, maple-iced glazed, maple bar, glazed blueberry cake and donut holes as a healthy dietary choice.
The voluntary dismissal was filed without prejudice, which means it could be refiled. The motion preserves the ability to pursue class-action claims if submitted and approved by the court.