There is enough evidence to substantiate Danone US’s “50-calorie” claim on its Dannon Light & Fit Zero Sugar products, according to an advertising watchdog.
The packaging claim was challenged by competitor Chobani. National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs noted Wednesday that Chobani and Dannon produce the only two available products free from sugar and artificial sweeteners in Chobani Zero Sugar and Dannon Light & Fit Zero Sugar.
In a statement, the NAD said it reviewed evidence produced by Chobani and third-party testing showing that Dannon Light & Fit Zero Sugar contains more calories than is indicated on the label. NAD said it determined Chobani’s information “was not more persuasive than Danone’s evidence.”
As a result, the division “determined that Danone’s confidential evidence provided a reasonable basis to support its 50-calorie claim.”
Danone said in an email it was pleased with NAD’s findings that support its calorie claim.
“Our teams conduct extensive research into product innovation, and each product goes through a thorough process to determine the number of calories and nutritional information to ensure we share accurate information with consumers,” said a Danone North America spokesperson.
Chobani noted only that “Chobani Zero Sugar Greek Yogurt is different, meeting a real consumer need with a delicious product made from only natural, non-GMO ingredients.”
The BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, said it provides third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs used to be part of the Council of Better Business Bureaus until it restructured in 2019, and now it operates as its own independent entity.
Better-for-you products, including yogurt with low or no sugar, have surged in popularity as consumers keep a closer watch on what they eat and drink. It’s also a lucrative source of revenue and growth for food manufacturers.
Since Chobani Zero Sugar was launched in 2021, it has amassed 2.1% of the total yogurt category, according to Nielsen data provided by the company in June. It also contributed 37% to Chobani’s overall growth in the yogurt category during that time.