Las Vegas business calls out rival for incorrect labeling

Who needs a government agency to ferret out food falsehoods when you have competitors?

First it was cookies at the Red Velvet Cafe, seriously underreporting its calorie count claiming they were 27 calories. Ho, ho, ho. More like 100-157 calories, two labs found.

Now it’s protein cake bites over-reporting protein grams.

Manbake Beefcakes owner Seth Lagana conceded the protein was not as much as the label said, and he is having the labels changed. He showed me copies of the new labels, as the packages I bought at Freddie’s Nutrition this week had the old labels. He also is changing the recipe and the size.

The difference in protein was substantial. According to one lab analysis, the 33 grams of protein listed on Manbake Beefcakes for three small chocolate peanut butter cake bites was actually 14 grams of protein, less than half advertised.

How do I know this?

Competitor Gregg Leighton, owner of ProBread in Las Vegas, paid to have the cake bites tested by a lab in October. He only tested the protein, not the other claims, such as calorie count, fat, cholesterol, carbs or sodium.

In the athletic world, it’s the protein count that really counts, Leighton explained. Serious athletes and weightlifters aim to eat between 1 and 1½ grams of protein for every pound they weigh, he said. A 180-pound sedentary person could get away with 78 grams of protein. Hence the popularity of protein drinks, protein bars and yes, cake bites and cookies.

Leighton, 56, with his 35 years in the fitness business, a former Mr. USA and Mr. Universe, is upset that for six months Lagana has been selling the products with incorrect labeling.

Leighton asked Lagana how his cake bites were tested, and Lagana said he was only 27 years old and didn’t have any money, so he spent $50 for a computer calculation rather than having them actually tested by a lab, which is far more expensive.

“I told him he had not tested them properly,” said Leighton, who said he has paid $10,000 to test just for protein cookies he is developing.

Lagana did not deny that conversation when I interviewed him and without hesitation promptly admitted his labels are wrong. The labels claim the identical nutritional facts, despite different ingredients for all five flavors, from chocolate peanut butter to cinnamon bun. “We’re in the process of fixing it,” Lagana said. “The labels we have now are legit.”

When told I had bought his product that day claiming the 33 grams of protein per package, he said the change is expected to be taking place soon and sent me copies of new labels.

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman explained there is a process to file complaints. “Most of what we do in the FDA is based on risk; those take preference. That said, if there is an issue with a particular product, it’s a good idea to file a formal complaint with our compliance department,” she said. “We do follow up on consumer complaints.”

Leighton knew that but did not file a complaint. Leighton acknowledged the underreporting of protein grams does not harm anybody. “They’re just not getting the nutrition they are paying for.”

Manbake Beefcakes are sold at health clubs, health food stores and farmers markets. As I plunked down $17 for my four bags, an even dozen, a pleasingly fit customer assured me, “Those are awesome.”

Right now Leighton’s ProBread is sold online in Nevada and has 17 grams of protein a slice. He is working on a line of protein brownies, cookies and muffins. “My point is not to put anyone out of business, but to level the playing field so people are getting what they’re paying for,” he said.

Within an hour of our interview Tuesday, Lagana had a notice on Manbake’s Facebook Page saying, “Like we’ve previously addressed, our nutrition facts ARE indeed changing. We finally got our lab results back and I couldn’t be happier. YES, the protein count is less, but the calories and carbs are still nearly perfect for clean dieters. … All of the labels will be corrected as soon as possible. We want to be as transparent about this as we can.”

It was much the same as he told me just moments earlier.

As far back as Oct. 3 he told Facebook friends that recipes and nutrition facts would be changing.

Lagana said his new labels will show protein counts of between 21 to 25 grams for three cake bites in the various flavors.

That better be accurate. Competitors are likely to check.

Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Email her at or call her at (702) 383-0275.

Hollywood Memorabilia Up For Grabs at Las Vegas Auction
Elvis Presley's car, Marilyn Monroe's bras, Han Solo's blaster, and Jerry Lewis's "Nutty Professor" suit are just some of the items that are up for auction at Julien's Auctions at Planet Hollywood June 22 and 23. The auction's viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Springs Preserve Exhibit Shows Off "Nature's Ninjas"
"Nature's Ninjas" arrives at the Springs Preserve, in an exhibit and live show featuring critters that come with natural defenses, from armadillos to snakes, poison dart frogs to scorpions and tarantulas (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossRoads of Southern Nevada psychiatric urgent care to open in Las Vegas
Jeff Iverson, who operates the nonprofit sober living facility Freedom House, is opening a private addiction treatment center that will operate a detoxification center and transitional living for substance users trying to recover. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Wayne Newton surprises burglars
Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen, arrived at their southeast Las Vegas home shortly before midnight on Wednesday to find two burglars inside their house. The burglars fled and were seen heading north through the property. Las Vegas police quickly set up a perimeter and launched an extensive search of the area, but the suspects were able to escape. It was unclear if the burglars got away with anything of value. Several items, under the watchful eyes of the police, were seen on the ground near the home's main driveway. Neither Newton, nor his wife, were injured. The Newtons were not available for comment.
Police Officers Turn Off Body Cameras
In four separate body camera videos from the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting released Wednesday, officers in a strike team are instructed to turn their body cameras off and comply with the request.
Debra Saunders reports from Singapore
Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent talks about the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
How long will North Korea's denuclearization take?
In Singapore, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent Debra Saunders asks President Donald Trump how long North Korea's denuclearization will take. White House video.
LVCVA purchase of gift cards hidden
A former LVCVA executive hid the purchase of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards in records at the agency. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, said the money was for promotional events and did not disclose that it was for gift cards. Lawson also instructed Southwest employees to submit invoices without mentioning the purchases were for the cards. More than $50,000 of the cards cannot be accounted for. The convention authority is publicly funded . Lawson recently resigned.
Kim Jong Un visits Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage visited the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore briefly Monday night, local time. (Video by Philip Chope)
Coca-Cola Bottle Purse Has 9,888 Diamonds
Designer Kathrine Baumann and jeweler Aaron Shum set the Guinness World Record for most diamonds (9,888) set on a handbag. The Coca Cola bottle-shaped purse was on display at the Coca Cola Store on the Strip. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sentosa Island a pleasure resort with a pirate past
The site of Tuesday's U.S.-North Korea summit is known for theme parks and resorts. But before that, it was known as a pirate island. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judge Sandra Pomrenze's comment about girl's hair
Nevada Races Full of Women From Both Sides
It's already been a historic election season for women in politics. Record numbers of women are running for political office all over the country - including Nevada. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
East Las Vegas home damaged by fire
Clark County Fire Department crews responded to a house fire in east Las Vegas Thursday morning. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
911 call: Mom tries to get to son shot at Route 91
A woman stuck on the interstate during the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, tries to get to her son. 911 call released by Las Vegas police.
Las Vegas 911 caller reports people shot on Oct. 1
A 911 caller on Oct. 1, 2017, reports several people shot at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
911 call from woman under stage in Las Vegas shooting
A 911 call from a woman underneath the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival during the Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting.
LVCVA facing scandal over gift cards
LVCVA is facing a growing scandal over airline gift cards. LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned.
Siblings separated in the foster care system get a day together
St. Jude's Ranch for Children and Cowabunga Bay Cares program partnered to bring 75 siblings together for the day to play on the water slides and in the pools at the Henderson water park. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People flee the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Las Vegas police released footage from a camera on Mandalay Bay of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Aaliyah Inghram awarded medal of courage
Aaliyah Inghram, a 10-year-old girl who was shot while protecting her 18-month-old brother and 4-year-old cousin during a shooting on May 8, awarded medal of courage. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegans Pack Public Lands Open House
A crowd filled the Clark County Library conference room Tuesday afternoon where Clark County officials hold their first -- and possibly only -- public meeting on plans to open almost 39,000 acres of federal land for development just outside the Las Vegas metropolitan area. County commissioners are set to vote June 19 on a potentially controversial resolution seeking federal legislation that would set aside tens of thousands of acres for conservation while giving Nevada’s largest community more room to grow. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police search Henderson Constable's home and office
Las Vegas police served search warrants Tuesday at Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell's home and office. The investigation was sparked by a Las Vegas Review-Journal story showing Mitchell wrote himself $70,000 in checks, used ATMs at casinos and video poker bars, and traveled to places his adult children live. All using county funds. Police refused to comment but Mitchell's attorney said he did nothing wrong.
Vegas Golden Knights fans shows his colors for community
Vegas Golden Knights superfan Lynn Groesbeck has wrapped his new truck with Knights logos and images. He loves how the Golden Knights are bringing community back to Las Vegas. People stop him on the street to take photos and share his support. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Acting Coach Daryl Morris on His Craft
Acting coach Daryl Morris, whose father Bobby was Elvis Presley's conductor in Las Vegas, discusses his craft and how he leads his own classes. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Constable wanted county funds to fight Review-Journal investigation
The Las Vegas Review-Journal asked for public records to investigate constable spending. But Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell hired outside counsel to fight the request. And he wanted the county to pay nearly $7,500 for those attorneys. The county declined. And records show the constable's office owes taxpayers $700,000. County officials said the money will be repaid over three years. Mitchell abandoned his re-election before the Review-Journal story ran.
BalanceVille Art Car Rides High Above First Friday
First Friday attendees got to ride in BalanceVille, a Burning Man art car that rises 50 feet in the air on a hydraulic lift. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like