BBB National Programs Archive

Beech-Nut Says It Has Permanently Discontinued Claims Challenged by Nestle, Maker of Gerber Products

New York, NY – Nov. 14, 2017 – The Beech-Nut Nutrition Company has said it will discontinue all advertising claims challenged by Nestle Nutrition U.S. before the National Advertising Division. Nestle, maker of Gerber infant foods, challenged claims made in advertising for Beech-Nut infant cereal products.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

In response to NAD’s initial inquiry, Beech-Nut said that it had decided for unrelated business reasons to permanently discontinue several of the claims at issue before Gerber filed a challenge. Further, Beech-Nut stated that it has discontinued all of the advertising at the center of the challenger’s complaint and argued that NAD should administratively close the proceedings.

NAD determined that many of the claims continued to appear in the marketplace after it opened its inquiry. NAD declined to administratively close the matter.  However, in reliance on the advertiser’s representation that the claims have been permanently discontinued, NAD did not review the claims on their merits. The voluntarily discontinued claims will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

Discontinued claims include:

  • Stage 1 sensitive oatmeal cereal “has all the tastiness of oatmeal with smaller proteins that are gentler on your baby’s tummy”
  • Stage 1 sensitive oatmeal cereal is “formulated to be gentle on baby’s tummy”
  • “Beech-Nut Natural Complete Oatmeal Cereal Canister”
  • “Natural”
  • “Sensitive”
  • “Complete” nutrition
  • “More than any other baby cereal”
  • Beech-Nut Cereals in pouches are “natural’
  • “0” grams of sugar

Beech-Nut Nutrition Company appreciates the NAD’s determination to not review the challenged claims on their merits because the company has  permanently discontinued the challenged claims.

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.