Whole Foods quietly pulls its Greek yogurt off shelves

Posted: August 27, 2014

JOSEPH OSEFCHEN knew something was up when he noticed a "gap" on the yogurt shelf at the Whole Foods in Marlton, N.J.

His law firm is suing the grocer over the sugar content of its 365 Everyday Value Plain Greek Yogurt. But, last week, that particular yogurt suddenly disappeared.

"There's a frigging 2-foot hole in the dairy case," Osefchen said.

You remember the 18-minute "gap" in the Nixon White House tapes, right?

Osefchen also went to the Whole Foods in Cherry Hill and on South Street. The yogurt had disappeared there, too.

"That's when I said, 'There's a pattern here,' " he said. "Something's got to be going on. One store? OK. But not three stores."

How high up does this go?

Turns out, the Texas-based supermarket chain quietly pulled its plain Greek yogurt off store shelves this month after Osefchen's firm alleged in class-action lawsuits in Philadelphia and New Jersey that the yogurt contained nearly six times the sugar listed on the container. The law firm, DeNittis Osefchen, made national headlines last year for suing Subway over the length of its footlong sandwiches.

Consumer Reports tested the Whole Foods yogurt and reported on the sugar discrepancy in mid-July, but the yogurt remained on store shelves for weeks.

"While we continue to investigate Consumer Reports claims, we have removed our 365 Everyday Value Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt from store shelves," Whole Foods spokeswoman Katie Malloy emailed yesterday. "However, we offer a variety of other nonfat plain Greek yogurt options for our shoppers to choose from."

Malloy would not reveal how many containers of yogurt were removed or whether they would be repackaged or destroyed.

Osefchen said the move was likely in response to the litigation. The Consumer Reports story is more than a month old; the lawsuits were filed about two weeks ago.

"There's nothing more effective than a lawsuit," he said. "Nothing gets people's attention like suing them."

On Twitter: @wbender99

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