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Photo credit: Kashi 
© Kashi Co.

The grocery shelves are lined with products that advertise themselves as "natural," even though -- or perhaps because -- it's a word with no defined legal meaning.

That doesn't stop consumers from challenging its use, however, as Kashi Co. and Bear Naked Inc. have learned. The companies have agreed to settle class action lawsuits alleging they falsely advertised some of their products as “natural” even though they contained synthetic and artificial ingredients.

California consumers who purchased certain Kashi or Bear Naked products that were advertised as natural could be eligible for benefits from the class action settlements (details below).

Kashi and Bear Naked deny any wrongdoing but say they have agreed to settle the lawsuits to avoid the cost and risk of ongoing litigation. Kashi has agreed to create a settlement fund of $5 million and Bear Naked has agreed to create a fund of $325,000.

Who’s eligible

Class Members of the Kashi class action settlement include California residents who purchased certain Kashi products between Aug. 24, 2007 and May 1, 2014.

Class Members of the Bear Naked class action settlement include California residents who purchased certain Bear Naked products between Sept. 21, 2007 and May 1, 2014.

The Kashi products covered by the class action settlement include:

GoLean Chewy Chocolate Almond Toffee Protein & Fiber Bars
GoLean Chewy Cookies and Cream Protein & Fiber Bars
GoLean Chewy Malted Chocolate Crisp Protein & Fiber Bars
GoLean Chocolate Malted Crisp Protein & Fiber Bars
GoLean Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Protein & Fiber Bars
GoLean Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein & Fiber Bars
GoLean Chocolate Malted Crisp Protein & Fiber Bar
GoLean Crunchy! Chocolate Almond Protein & Fiber Bars
GoLean Crunchy! Chocolate Caramel Protein & Fiber Bars
GoLean Crunchy! Chocolate Peanut Protein & Fiber Bars
GoLean Crunchy! Chocolate Pretzel Protein & Fiber Bars
GoLean Crunchy! Cinnamon Coffee Cake Protein & Fiber Bars
GoLean Oatmeal Raisin Protein & Fiber Bar
GoLean Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein & Fiber Bar
GoLean Roll! Caramel Peanut Protein & Fiber Bar
GoLean Roll! Chocolate Peanut Protein & Fiber Bar
GoLean Roll! Chocolate Turtle Protein & Fiber Bar
GoLean Roll! Fudge Sundae Protein & Fiber Bar
GoLean Roll! Oatmeal Walnut Protein & Fiber Bar
TLC Baked Apple Spice Soft-Baked Snack Bars
TLC Blackberry Graham Soft-Baked Snack Bars
TLC Cherry Dark Chocolate Chewy Granola Bars
TLC Cherry Vanilla Soft-Baked Snack Bars
TLC Cranberry Walnut Fruit & Grain Bars
TLC Cranberry Walnut Layered Granola Bars
TLC Dark Chocolate Coconut Fruit & Grain Bars
TLC Dark Chocolate Coconut Layered Granola Bar
TLC Dark Mocha Almond Chewy Granola Bars
TLC Honey Almond Flax Chewy Granola Bars
TLC Honey Toasted 7 Grain Granola Bars
TLC All Natural Chewy Granola Bar in Honey Toasted
Kashi TLC Crunchy Granola Bar Honey Toasted 7 Grain
TLC Peanut Peanut Butter Chewy Granola Bars
TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bar
TLC Pumpkin Pie Fruit & Grain Bars
TLC Pumpkin Pecan Layered Granola Bar
TLC Pumpkin Pecan Fruit & Grain Bars
TLC Pumpkin Spice Flax Crunchy Granola Bars
TLC Raspberry Chocolate Fruit & Grain Bars
TLC Raspberry Chocolate Layered Granola Bar
TLC Ripe Strawberry Soft-Baked Snack Bars
TLC Roasted Almond Crunch Crunchy Granola Bars
TLC Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars
7 Grain Waffles
Blueberry Waffles
GoLean Blueberry Waffles GoLean Strawberry Flax Waffles
GoLean Original 7 Grain Waffles
Berry Blossoms Squares Cereal
GoLean Crisp Toasted Berry Crumble Cereal
GoLean Crunch Cereal
GoLean Crunch Honey Almond Flax Cereal
Honey Sunshine Squares Cereal
Cocoa Beach Granola
Mountain Medley Granola
Summer Berry Granola
GoLean Chocolate Shake
GoLean Vanilla Shake
GoLean Creamy Instant Hot Cereal Truly Vanilla
GoLean Hearty Instant Hot Cereal with Clusters Honey & Cinnamon
TLC Country Cheddar Cheese Crackers
TLC Honey Sesame Snack Crackers
TLC Original 7 Grain with Sea Salt Pita Crisps
Kashi Pita Crisps Zesty Salsa
Kashi TLC Crackers Asiago Cheese
Kashi TLC Crackers Toasted Asiago
Kashi TLC Entertainer Cracker – Mediterranean Bruchetta
Kashi TLC Crackers Party Mediterranean Bruschetta
Kashi TLC Entertainer Cracker – Stoneground 7 Grain
Kashi TLC Crackers Party Stoneground 7 Grain
Kashi TLC Crackers Fire Roasted Vegetable
Kashi TLC Entertainer Cracker – Garlic and Thyme
Kashi TLC Entertainer Cracker – Stoneground 7 Grain
Kashi TLC Entertainer Cracker – Original 7 Grain
Kashi TLC Crackers Original 7 Grain
Kashi TLC Crackers-Natural Ranch
TLC Happy Trail Mix Chewy Cookies
TLC Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chewy Cookies
TLC Oatmeal Raisin Flax Chewy Cookies
Kashi Entrée Chicken Florentine
Kashi Chicken Pasta Pomodoro
Kashi Entrée Lemongrass Coconut Chicken
Kashi Entrée Mayan Harvest Bake
Kashi Entrée Pesto Pasta Primavera
Kashi Entrée Southwest Style Chicken
Kashi Entrée Spicy Black Bean Enchilada
Kashi Tuscan Veggie Bake
Kashi Pizza Caribbean Carnival
Kashi Pizza 5 Cheese & Tomato
Kashi Pizza Margherita
Kashi Pizza Margherita – Thin Crust
Kashi Pizza Margherita – Stone-Fired Thin Crust
Tomato Garlic Cheese Stone-Fired Thin Crust Pizza
Kashi Pizza Mexicali Black Bean
Kashi Pizza Mushroom Trio & Spinach
Kashi Pizza Mushroom Trio & Spinach – Thin Crust
Kashi Pizza Basil Pesto
Kashi Pizza Basil Pesto – Stone-Fired Thin Crust
Kashi Pizza Roasted Garlic Chicken
Kashi Pizza Roasted Vegetable
Kashi Pizza Roasted Vegetable – Thin Crust
Heart to Heart Honey Oat Waffles
Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal
Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon
Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal Golden Maple
Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal Raisin Spice
Heart to Heart Oat Flakes & Blueberry Clusters Cereal
Heart to Heart Blueberry Cereal
Heart to Heart Roasted Garlic Whole Grain Crackers
Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat Cereal
Heart to Heart Original Whole Grain Crackers

The Bear Naked products covered by the class action settlement include:

Bear Naked Cookie Double Chocolate/Bear Naked Soft-Baked Double Chocolate Granola Cookie
Bear Naked Cookie Fruit & Nut/Bear Naked Soft-Baked Fruit & Nut Granola Cookies
Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola
Bear Naked Heavenly Chocolate Granola
Bear Naked Nut Cluster Crunch Honey Almond Cereal
Bear Naked Nut Cluster Crunch Maple Nut Cereal
Bear Naked Peak Energy Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix
Bear Naked Peak Energy Cranberry Almond Trail Mix/Bear Naked Peak Energy Trail Mix Cranberry Protein
Bear Naked Peak Energy Pecan Apple Flax Trail Mix
Bear Naked Peak Flax Oats and Honey with Blueberries Granola
Bear Naked Peak Protein Granola/Bear Naked Peak Protein Original Granola
Potential Award

The specific amount Class Members may receive depends on the quantity of Kashi or Bear Naked products purchased, whether they have receipts for their purchases and the number of valid claims submitted.

Kashi Class Members who provide written proof of purchase (such as a receipt or a retail rewards submission) for the affected Kashi products may seek reimbursement of $0.50 for each product purchased. Class Members without proof of purchase may still make a claim for reimbursement of $0.50 for each product purchased, but the maximum recovery for products without proof of purchase will be capped at $25.

Bear Naked Class Members who provide written proof of purchase (such as a receipt or a retail rewards submission) for the affected Bear Naked products may seek reimbursement of $0.50 for each product purchased. Class Members without proof of purchase may still make a claim for reimbursement of $0.50 for each product purchased, but the maximum recovery for products without proof of purchase will be capped at $10.

The claim form is available here


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