Are Kettle Brand Chips Really Air Fried? Lawsuit Claims Misleading Labels

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A Consumer Says He Was Misled By Kettle Brand's Packaging Into Buying Potato Chips He Thought Were Air Fried But Weren't.

A California man who went to the store to buy a snack for his “health-conscious” girlfriend last year says he was deceived into buying her potato chips fried in a vat of oil. He is now suing the maker of “Kettle Brand” potato chips, alleging its range of “air fried” chips aren’t what they say they are.

Plaintiff Syed Hussain filed the proposed class action complaint against Campbell Soup Company on March 21 in a California federal court, alleging violations of state and federal consumer laws. 

He says regular consumers like him see the products’ prominent “Air Fried” marketing, and assume the chips are cooked in an air fryer. However, he says, the chips are cooked in an oil fryer.

Consumer consults the dictionary

To make his case, Hussain went to Dictionary.com, which defines “air frying” as a method of food preparation in which the ingredients are “enclosed in a type of small convection oven and cooked, with little or no oil, by the circulation of hot air.”

When Campbell Soup Company decided to label its Kettle Brand potato chips with labels of “Air Fried” in a large font on the front of the bags it tricked consumers, he says. 

“The phrase ‘Air Fried’ is false and misleading as the potato chips that make up the product are cooked by frying them in a vat of oil,” the lawsuit states.

Premium price paid for healthy potato chips, lawsuit says

Hussain says health-conscious consumers will pay more for potato chips they perceive as having avoided the negative health effects of being cooked in oil.

He alleges Campbell Soup Company knew this when it misleadingly labeled its oil-fried potato chips. 

“Plaintiff now brings this action to stop the defendant's misrepresentation and recover the monies they paid for the products as a result of the misrepresentation,” the lawsuit states.

He’s seeking total damages for the class of more than $5 million.

Campbell Soup faces other legal challenges

In February, Campbell Soup Company was hit with another proposed class action which alleged that the company’s V8 fruit and vegetable beverages are deceptively labeled. The suit says the packaging misleads consumers into thinking they’re buying “wholesome” drinks for kids when in fact they are allegedly “almost entirely water and high fructose corn syrup.”

Last month, the company was sued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Environmental Law Center in two lawsuits alleging the company's plant in Northwest Ohio is polluting Lake Erie and another local river. 

Hussain is looking to represent anyone who bought any of the allegedly falsely advertised Kettles “air fried” chips from Feb. 15, 2023. He’s suing for violations of California unfair competition and false advertising laws and seeking certification of the class action, damages, fees, costs and a jury trial. 

The plaintiffs and the proposed class are represented by James Pazos of Pazos Law Firm and Craig R. Smith of Smith Law Firm.

The Kettle potato chips class action lawsuit is Syed Hussain v. Campbell Soup Company, Case No. 3:24-cv-01776  in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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