Bagel Bites sued for allegedly not containing real cheese or tomato sauce

First, they came for the tuna. Now, they’re coming for the Bagel Bites. Lunches are no longer safe! A Wisconsin lawsuit is taking on Big Snacking by going after late night drunken munchies fave, Bagel Bites. The claim is that the Bites use neither real cheese nor tomato sauce in their proclaimed pizza on a mini bagel. Spearheading the effort is Kaitlyn Huber who says Nuh-uh on Kraft Heinz’s delicious frozen discs of dough. She argues the company is deceiving its customers. Kraft Heinz released a statement saying they use high quality ingredients and will defend their brand.

A new lawsuit alleges that Bagel Bites aren’t exactly what they claim to be.

Kaitlyn Huber, a Wisconsin resident, filed the suit in federal court on April 25, claiming Kraft Heinz is deceiving customers by including the “real” dairy seal on its products, according to Food & Wine.

The lawsuit argues the frozen snacks aren’t actually made with real cheese or real tomato sauce.

“The name, ‘Mini Bagels with Mozzarella Cheese and Tomato Sauce,’ is deceptive because mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, as these terms are understood by consumers and regulations, are not present in the Product or are present in an amount less than expected,” the lawsuit reads.

Kraft Heinz has since denied the allegations and released a statement on the matter.

“Bagel Bites, the perfect bite-sized pizza snack, are made with delicious, high-quality ingredients that our fans know and love,” A Kraft Heinz spokesperson told Today. “We proudly stand by the food we make, and are focused on bringing great products to market. The lawsuit lacks any merit, and we will strongly defend our brand.”

Documents from the suit allege the “cheese blend” includes modified food starch, which could be misleading to those who expect 100% mozzarella cheese. It also notes that cornstarch and methylcellulose are added to the tomato sauce in order to “reduce the amount of tomatoes used by thirty-five percent

[From People]

I am not making this up, Kaitlyn’s attorney, Spencer Sheehan, is using “we’re from Wisconsin so we know real cheese” as their basis. I don’t understand what I’m reading. Did Kaitlyn not read the nutritional information prior to purchasing? Just don’t buy them. I didn’t think the Subway tuna lawsuit would amount to anything, but I understood their case because the claimant legitimately thought the company was passing a phony product. In this case, I guess the claim is the “Real Dairy” seal. But there is dairy in the product and I assume enough to meet whatever requirements are in place to be able to put that seal there. Are Bagel Bites gross? Yes, they barely constitute as food. Has just reading their name inspired me to go out and grab a box for lunch? Absolutely! Nobody’s eating Bagel Bites for quality. Nor is anyone eating them for the taste of tomato sauce, fresh cheese or even bagel. They’re a guilty pleasure you reward yourself with. I fed these to my kids when they were little. They loved them. I made them from scratch once with all real ingredients and guess what, my kids shoved them aside and complained about not “having the real thing.”

Kaitlyn and Spencer hope to make this a class action lawsuit but only for Wisconsin, Arkansas and Ohio. I guess the rest of us don’t know what “real mozzarella cheese is” or are confused by tomatoes. Maybe New York is rustling up its own lawsuit against the bagel part of the product (although apparently it should be fronted by California *ahem*). We’ll see where this goes. Kraft Heinz can afford to play these games. Kaitlyn probably won’t be able to afford the product once the company is forced to use 100% all-natural ingredients. I’m not endorsing feeding your family or yourself this kind of food. I mean, I eat it, but you should never model yourself after my diet.

Not to mention, if you go after Bagel Bites, you jeopardize us having nice things like The Great Dog Pants Debate. Why are you trying to take our nice things, Kaitlyn?!


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35 Responses to “Bagel Bites sued for allegedly not containing real cheese or tomato sauce”

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  1. Lauren says:

    This is so dumb. I assume that whatever American junk food is sold doesn’t have any real nutritional value and has a lower quality version of whatever is publicized on the box. You are really naive if you think otherwise. I don’t eat American snacks often because they are difficult to find, but when I do buy them I buy them knowing that I’m eating junk, not real food with great ingredients.

    • goofpuff says:

      I agree, this is dumb frivolous lawsuit. Its junk food – expecting it to be real anything is a stretch plus its all in the nutritional label and the ingredient deck. At this point you’d have to sue nearly the entire frozen food isle.

  2. Edna says:

    People really need to read the nutritional labels. When my daughter was young, all she wanted to eat were bagel bites and tater tots. No matter what kind of healthy foods I put in front of her she wouldn’t touch it. So I stopped buying them and she had no choice but to eat what was given or go hungry. I’ve hated bagel bites ever since.

  3. Watson says:

    Im sorry but F this woman and her lawsuit. If i want to consume quality food we all know bagel bites aren’t it. Let me eat my college memories and feelings in peace!!!

  4. Amanda says:

    No wonder I always thought these tasted so gross, even as a kid.

    • sa says:

      Me too. I love pizza bagels, but I’ve never been able to tolerate bagel bites and I never understood why.

      Also, that article linked to that says California has the best bagels is offensive. California doesn’t have bagels, they have bagel shaped muffins. This is a hill I will die on.

  5. Mina_Esq says:

    Hecate, you’re so funny! “Big Snacking” lol I agree that no one is out there choosing Bagel Bites for the real cheese or real tomato sauce. it’s hard to take this claim seriously, even if there is some legal basis for it.

  6. Becks1 says:

    I love bagel bites SO MUCH. And tip – they are the best when you make them in an air fryer.

    people just need to let us have nice things – in this case, unhealthy frozen junk food that is SO GOOD lol.

  7. K says:

    If you are eating this with an expectation of having a healthy meal, you should be sued for being stupid.

  8. detritus says:

    Wisconsin cheese plant

    This is big cheese conspiracy

  9. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    Oh, please. Just look at all nutritional labels, that’s all you need to do. This is just a grab for $$, and it likely with leave the complainant with unpaid legal bills. What a dolt.

  10. Claire says:

    Leave Bagel Bites alone, Cheryl!

  11. Krista says:

    I think this is valid. The US has the worst food regulations and they should be held accountable. No one is saying they shouldn’t make them but saying real cheese and expecting tomato sauce should be a reasonable expectation. It’s the same with the lawsuit about gingerale when they advertised ‘real ginger’ and it didn’t actually have it. The states adds soooo many banned additives. More lawsuits and pressure should happen.

    • Sigmund says:

      Yeah, I see a lot of people bashing this lawsuit here, but I…kind of think it has some merit. Yes, you can read the nutritional label, but if you’ve got giant labels on the front claiming you’ve got real cheese and tomato sauce in it, plenty of harried parents will grab it because their kid wants it and not realize what they’re getting.

      A lot of junk foods get away with too much, IMO. Theres nothing wrong with enjoying junk food from time to time, but I don’t think they should be able to make claims that aren’t true, either.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Like how some lemonades don’t have any lemons in it, at all. Or orange juice that lost all flavor due to processing, and must have flavor added back in through flavor packs, but they are not required to list the flavor packs or what is in them on the list of ingredients?

      If I saw the bagel bites box, I would think they are using “real” cheese and tomato sauce, not something that has been diluted with sugar and adulterated. Food manufacturers need more accountability.

    • Christine says:

      I’m with you, and I’m too old for bagel bites to be my thing, but before I cared about proper nutrition, I tossed back Totino’s pizza rolls like it was my job. I didn’t think they were healthy, though. Truth in packaging should just be a given.

  12. Seraphina says:

    Even the shredded cheese in a bag has things preservatives and cornstarch added. Any one who has shredded cheese from a block and used cheese from a bag knows there is a difference. And this whole lawsuit is idiotic. If you want 100% tomato sauce and 100% cheese, make your own pizza from your own ingredients.
    What’s next??? Poptarts??

  13. Dee says:

    Ironically, one of my friends with all kinds of food allergies could eat Bagel Bites with no problems.

  14. alwaysannarun says:

    She’s from the town right next to mine. This surprises me zero. The pandemic has done strange things to not so bright people.

  15. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    Hecate – I love your writing! You’re so funny!

  16. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Which is why I’ve been making my own bagel bites from day one. Duh?

  17. pottymouth pup says:

    I’m confused, why are they only going after Bagel Bites and not most other frozen pizzas that use the same ingredients?

  18. chitowner says:

    I’m all for this. If the front of the package reads ‘made with real cheese’, my first thought isn’t ‘what percentage of cheese in this product is actual cheese vs. a food additive I’ve never heard of?’. I read the nutritional information on the packaging of what I buy, but I wouldn’t and I still don’t know what half of the ingredients are, unless I look them up. Let’s not kid ourselves, the company is using deceptive marketing claims on the front of the package, so you WON’T look at the nutritional info on the back of the page. They are all about making you feel better about buying a product that really isn’t good for you.
    Heinz and (every other manufacturer) can use all-natural (or close to it) ingredients in their products. They don’t want to, because it reduces their profit margins. What’s even more ludicrous in America, is that we find it perfectly acceptable to be charged more for food that isn’t pumped full of stuff that won’t slowly poison us and then we tell the people who eat food like bagel bites, that they should ‘just eat real food’, ‘make time to meal prep’ or ‘should know bagel bites aren’t made with real ingredients, because they’re so cheap’.
    Really? I see, so if you can’t afford grass-fed beef, organic cheese and bread or don’t have at least a few hours to plan meals and prep them each week, then you forfeit your right to health, because you make ‘poor choices’? Makes sense. It’s not like the FDA poorly funded or there’s little-to-no regulation of agribusinesses, or the cost of making your own bagel bites with organic bread and cheese and grass-fed beef would be more than the $4+ you’d pay for a box of bagel bites. Maybe she’s suing, because she wants to hold Heinz’s feet to the fire.

    • North of Boston says:

      I kind of agree.

      It’s like the companies that now have to refer to their products as “chocolate flavored” instead of just saying “chocolate” on the label … if they in fact DON’T contain actual chocolate. In that case, the issue was often companies wanted to use a different oil/fat (often a cheaper one) instead of cocoa butter.

      Or the case against Dunkin’ Donuts franchises that offered butter as topping option on their bagels, but if you ordered it, you got something that … was NOT butter. (Personally I think they shouldn’t be able to call their “bagels” bagels, but no one asked me) They wound up settling…because the guy was absolutely right. “The main point of the lawsuit is to stop the practice of representing one thing and selling a different thing,”

      I doubt anyone is eating bagel bites for their stellar nutritional content. But if the product says it’s a bagel with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, it should actually be a bagel (or whatever passes for one) with actual mozzarella cheese and actual tomato sauce.

    • Seraphina says:

      But all labeling in the US is not really correct and we have no way to prove what is and what is not true. I read that the Cage free eggs we buy does not mean the chickens are 100% cage free. So where do we draw the line on holding labeling accountable as well as a line for what can be litigated?

    • Christine says:

      I agree with you completely. I have lived in Los Angeles for over a decade now, and it has made me crazy aware of the disparity between the choices in different parts of this city. There are many areas where convenience stores are where people go to buy food, which blew my mind when I moved here. It never occurred to me that there were families who routinely shop for groceries at gas stations, and it makes me furious. Inner city life is HARD, for a whole lot of families.

      I grew up in a city in the midwest of under 100,000. Everyone had easy access to markets. It’s just not that way for so many.

      It’s about time these companies are held accountable.

    • Mouse says:

      Totally agree!
      In fact, my favourite go to bars, Larabar, were changed after being bought by General Mills. They now boast a third ingredient: dried apples and while they aren’t faking any ingredients they are 100% using the dried apple as filler to reduce costs on their end in place of the two other more expensive ingredients. What’s worse? They taste terrible. Sickly sweet and super dry. I’m so tired of these companies trying to sell everyone lesser quality “food” at still too high prices. It needs to stop and food companies held more accountable

  19. Sue says:

    You’re suing the maker of junk food for selling you junk food?

  20. Lucky Charm says:

    LOL! How can anyone really expect a frozen, pre-packaged food sold in the snack food freezer aisle, and has to be microwaved, to be healthy?! I don’t care if it “says” real cheese on the front of the package or not, I fully expect it to be unhealthy junk food made with a lot of “unnatural” ingredients. That’s why I limit how often I buy things like that. But they do taste better than the healthy home-made version. 🙂

  21. Aimee says:

    Here’s a tip: Make your own. I do it all the time with mini bagels and REAL cheese and REAL tomato sauce!

    • Seraphina says:

      Pita bread also makes great “dough” for a personal pizza. But as always, there is prep which most don’t want to invest in.

  22. Blecky says:

    I had to Google what a Bagel Bite was. There is a piece in Mel Magazine that explains all the ingredients and I was so horrified. On the flip side Mel Magazine is hilarious — I am going to go back and read about why guys think women want “nut videos” … omg that is a thing? … now because I can’t stop laughing.

  23. Willow says:

    I think this is a problem in general with all food advertising and packaging in the USA. They often use deceptive words or words that don’t have a defined meaning by the FDA. For example, ‘holistic’… It can mean whatever a company wants it to, because unlike ‘organic’ the FDA hasn’t written a regulation defining holistic. Or for eggs, cage-free and free-range chickens live very different lives. But you won’t know that unless someone tells you or you do some research. Lawsuits like this might seem petty, but they draw attention to these problems and hopefully help educate people and help them become better shoppers. Because I doubt food manufacturers and regulations are going to change.

  24. Justjj says:

    I don’t need this kind of negativity in my life.