Consumer News

CATrends: Graham Crackers Made with White Flour

Class-action lawsuits allege these snacks are graham crackers in name only.

Consumer News

CATrends: Graham Crackers Made with White Flour

This article highlights a trend in class-action litigation as identified by our Class-Action Tracker. Thus the name of this feature, CATrends.

It’s a scandal of s’moresian proportions: graham crackers that lack the primary ingredient to call themselves graham crackers.

A class-action lawsuit against Honey Maid, one of several graham cracker brands currently facing class-action litigation, states:

Dictionaries confirm what reasonable consumers expect when it comes to graham crackers, defining them as ‘a slightly sweet cracker made of whole wheat flour’ and ‘a semisweet cracker, usually rectangular in shape, made chiefly of whole-wheat flour.’

Honey Maid graham crackers may be rectangular in shape but they are not made chiefly of whole wheat flour. Rather, the first ingredient listed on the side of the box is unbleached enriched flour or white flour, which is made using only a portion of the wheat, the endosperm. The same goes for Keebler, Walmart’s Great Value and Target’s Market Pantry graham crackers, the other brands accused of misleading consumers on their primary ingredient.

The endosperm is the largest part of the wheat but also the least nutritious. The fiber-packed bran and nutrient-rich germ are the parts of the wheat largely responsible for the myriad health benefits of eating whole grains, which more and more Americans are doing these days.

All four graham cracker brands list a whole wheat flour called graham flour as an ingredient but only after white flour. Graham flour is the second ingredient in Honey Maid, Great Value and Market Pantry graham crackers and the fourth ingredient in Keebler graham crackers, two behind sugar.

The suit against Honey Maid notes that there are graham crackers like Annie’s that do not contain white flour and that list whole wheat flour as the first, main ingredient.

Find more of our coverage on snacks here.

You Might Be Interested In