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Settlement reached in ND-based Giant Snacks' lawsuit against competitor's advertising

FARGO - North Dakota-based Giant Snacks Inc. reached a settlement in court this week for a lawsuit alleging two South Dakota-based competitors misled consumers by falsely claiming to have half the salt of all or most other sunflower seeds.

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FARGO – North Dakota-based Giant Snacks Inc. reached a settlement in court this week for a lawsuit alleging two South Dakota-based competitors misled consumers by falsely claiming to have half the salt of all or most other sunflower seeds.  

Wild Dutchman Products and partner Southern Sun, both based in South Dakota, are listed as defendants in the complaint filed by Giant Snacks in U.S. District Court last November.

According to court documents, the parties met Wednesday, April 18, to reach a settlement, though terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Giant Snacks alleges that the defendants changed packaging around 2014 to claim “Half the salt. All the flavor.” But Giant said the South Dakota sunflower seed companies do not explicitly state what sunflower seeds they are comparing to, thereby implying that Wild Dutchman have half the salt of all or most other sunflower seeds.  

Based on testing by two independent labs, Giant says in its suit that its sunflower seeds actually have less sodium than seeds marketed by Wild Dutchman.

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Giants asked that Wild Dutchman be ordered to stop making false claims and that any products containing the false claims be recalled. Giant is also seeking Wild Dutchman profits associated with the low-sodium claims, along with monetary damages.

Kim Hyatt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead covering community issues and other topics. She previously worked for the Owatonna People's Press where she received the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award in 2016. Later that year, she joined The Forum as a night reporter and is now part of the investigative team. She's a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth.
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