ERSP Recommends Quest Nutrition Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims for Quest Protein Bars

New York, NY – Dec. 1, 2014 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that Quest Nutrition modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for Quest Protein Bars.

ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP through an anonymous competitive challenge.

ERSP reviewed online advertising claims for Quest Protein Bars, including:

  • “And the last thing you want to do is throw that hard work away by eating other nutrition bars or meal replacement bars that are little more than thinly disguised candy.”
  • “As most people know, if you want to stay healthy, lose fat or build LEAN muscle, you must control your carb intake. That’s why we’ve worked so hard to create Quest Bars with very few active carbs.”
  • “Quest Bars will also curb your hunger more effectively than most foods. Because they are packed with fiber, you’ll find that they are very filling. The natural fats and proteins will further keep your appetite satisfied for hours – making sure that you can easily stay away from eating higher calorie, less nutritious fare.”
  • “Uniqueness” and “one-of-a-kind” claims

At the outset of the inquiry, the marketer informed ERSP that several of the advertising claimsthat were the subject of the inquiry are currently the subject of pending litigation. As such, ERSP agreed that it was not appropriate to review those claims.

Moreover, the marketer voluntarily discontinued several claims, including testimonials at issue in ERSP’s inquiry.

Regarding the claim “And the last thing you want to do is throw that hard work away by eating other nutrition bars or meal replacement bars that are little more than thinly disguised candy,” ERSP recommended that the claim be modified in future advertising in a way that conveys a less broad, less categorical message to consumers regarding the competitive products on the market.

ERSP determined that the implication that consumers will lose fat or build muscle simply by eating Quest bars would not be considered a “core claim” in the advertising. However, ERSP noted that it would be helpful for the marketer toreinforce to consumers that combining an effective diet and exercise regimen is the most effective method to obtain meaningful weight loss and that Quest bars are intended to be used as an adjunct to, and not as a substitute for, a dedicated diet and exercise regimen.

As support for its claim that “Quest Bars will also curb your hunger more effectively than most foods,” Quest Nutrition provided ERSP with a comparison of the fiber content of its protein bars to several common high-fiber foods and other nutrition bars. Based on the comparative data, ERSP determined that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for the claim.

Finally, after reviewing the evidence in the record, ERSP determined that the marketer adequately substantiated its “Uniqueness” and “one-of-a-kind” claims.

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “We will follow ESRP’s recommendations and revise one sentence and add two sentences in our website for the sake of clarity.  We are grateful to have participated in ESRP’s review and will continue in our mission to provide high quality, nutritious products to our valued Quest family as we strive for constant improvement in our lives and our products.”