Proskauer on Advertising Law
Proskauer on Advertising Law

Tag Archives: Food and Beverages

Sweet (But Not Too Sugary) Victory: Court Dismisses Lawsuit Over Sprout Foods Baby Food Labeling

Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California recently dismissed a putative class action alleging that Sprout Foods’s nutritional claims on its baby and toddler food labels misled consumers into believing that the products provide physical health benefits.  In their complaint, plaintiffs alleged that the products are “harmful both nutritionally and developmentally” due to … Continue Reading

“Born in the USA”?: Place of Origin Claims Take Center Stage in False Advertising Suits and FTC Enforcement

It has been almost forty years since Bruce Springsteen first famously celebrated being “Born in the USA.” From an advertising industry perspective, this song’s lasting popularity is no surprise; as advertisers know, “Made in the USA” is often a selling point for American industries. The FTC knows this too. In late 2021, the FTC finalized … Continue Reading

Advertising Class Action Trends in 2021

2021 saw well over 500 new class actions in the advertising space. With the number of these cases increasing, it is more important than ever for businesses to stay on top of the latest trends, including the types of products and claims that are being targeted.  Our full report, available here, goes into detail on … Continue Reading

Key 2021 Decisions from the NAD and NARB

With more than 80 closed cases, 2021 was another unprecedented year at the National Advertising Division and National Advertising Review Board. Proskauer’s False Advertising Group closely tracks these decisions from the advertising industry’s self-regulation system to stay apprised of the latest developments and trends, and has compiled a guide providing case summaries, with our insights … Continue Reading

Instant Dismissal: Court Dismisses Instant Oatmeal Case against Whole Foods Market

Judge Rachel Kovner of the Eastern District of New York recently dismissed a putative class action challenging Whole Foods Market’s label claims that its Oats & Flax Instant Oatmeal contains “dehydrated cane juice solids” and is “100 % Whole Grain – 18g or more per serving.” Plaintiffs alleged these labels communicate that the oatmeal is … Continue Reading

“Butter” Luck Next Time: Court Finds California Cannot Preclude Vegan Dairy from Using “Vegan Butter” Labeling

Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California recently ruled in favor of Miyoko’s Kitchen in a suit concerning Miyoko’s labeling of its plant-based spread as “vegan butter.” In doing so, Judge Seeborg determined that absent evidence that the “vegan butter” label was false or would mislead consumers, the state of California could not … Continue Reading

The Rise and Fall of “Vanilla” Labeling Challenges

Beginning in 2020, the advertising world saw an explosion of putative class-actions challenging the use of “vanilla” to describe products where the vanilla flavoring allegedly is not derived exclusively from the vanilla bean plant.  We previously blogged about several such cases. One plaintiff’s attorney alone, Spencer Sheehan, has filed—and continues to file—hundreds of these cases.  … Continue Reading

Let it “Bee”: Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Trader Joe’s Manuka Honey Advertising Suit

A Ninth Circuit panel recently affirmed dismissal of a putative consumer class action alleging Trader Joe’s misleadingly labeled its store brand honey as “100% New Zealand Manuka Honey,” where plaintiffs’ pollen content testing showed that only about 60% of the honey was derived from Manuka flower nectar. In doing so, the Court reinforced the importance … Continue Reading

The Legal “Pecking Order”: Ninth Circuit Finds Poultry Labeling Claims Preempted

In a unanimous precedential decision, a Ninth Circuit panel recently affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action against Trader Joe’s, which alleged that the statement “Up to 5% Retained Water” on Trader Joe’s poultry product labels was misleading. According to Plaintiff, her independent testing showed Trader Joe’s poultry products contained a higher percentage of … Continue Reading

Judge Looks “Kind”ly Upon Certifying Class in Snack Bar Advertising Suit

In a recent opinion out of the Southern District of New York, Judge William H. Pauley III certified three classes of plaintiffs in New York, California, and Florida who allege that KIND LLC, the manufacturer of KIND Bars, deceptively marketed several products as “all natural” and “non-GMO,” even though they purportedly contain synthetic and genetically … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Drowns Out Alkaline Water Suit

The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action alleging Trader Joe’s misled consumers by representing its Alkaline Water product as “ionized to achieve the perfect balance.”  In rejecting plaintiff’ allegations that the advertising referred to balancing the consumer’s internal pH rather than the balanced pH of the product itself, the Court … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Claws Back “Krab Mix” Class Action Dismissal

A split Ninth Circuit panel recently reversed the dismissal of claims against P.F. Chang’s regarding the chain’s use of the term “krab mix” in the ingredients list for certain sushi rolls. Kang v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, No. 20-55138 (9th Cir. Feb. 9, 2021). Plaintiff claimed he purchased P.F. Chang’s “krab mix” sushi rolls because … Continue Reading

Not a Kernel of Standing: Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Complaint Against Pop Secret

The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action alleging Diamond Foods engaged in unfair practices, created a nuisance, and breached the warranty of merchantability by including partially hydrogenated oils as an ingredient in Pop Secret popcorn.  McGee v. S-L Snacks Nat’l, Case No. 17-55577 (9th Cir. December 4, 2020). Plaintiff Jacquelyn … Continue Reading

Key 2020 Decisions from the NAD and NARB

With more than 100 closed cases, 2020 was another busy year at the National Advertising Division and National Advertising Review Board. Proskauer’s False Advertising Group closely tracks these decisions from the advertising industry’s self-regulation system to stay apprised of the latest developments and trends, and has compiled a guide providing case summaries, with our insights … Continue Reading

2020 Advertising Law Year in Review

While 2020 was an eventful year in the world of advertising law, it feels wrong to begin any type of “year in review” without acknowledging the global events of this year, and the challenges they have brought to every individual in one way or another. In our role, we are often in a position of … Continue Reading

Judges Toss Plain “Vanilla” Deceptive Labeling Claims

The beverage industry came out on top in a pair of recently dismissed lawsuits alleging the use of the term “vanilla” on drink labels was misleading, where the vanilla flavor allegedly did not come exclusively from the vanilla bean plant. Howard Clark v. Westbrae Natural, No. 20-cv-03221-JSC (N.D. Cal. December 1, 2020); Ryan Cosgrove et … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Sides with Plaintiffs in Appeal of “100% Grated Parmesan Cheese” Claims

The Seventh Circuit recently reversed a district court’s dismissal of a class action false advertising complaint, holding that an ingredient list’s disclosure of components other than parmesan cheese did not foreclose the possibility of reasonable consumers being deceived by a “100% Grated Parmesan Cheese” front label claim.  Bell v. Publix Super Markets, Nos. 19-2581 & … Continue Reading

Much A-Brew About Nothing: Court Dismisses False Ad Suit Against Starbucks

Judge Alison Nathan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently dismissed with prejudice a putative class action alleging Starbucks misrepresented itself as a “premium” coffee retailer. In doing so, the Court found that plaintiffs failed to allege Starbucks made any statements likely to mislead reasonable consumers, and that nearly … Continue Reading

Conagra Slips Away from Parkay Oil Spray Serving Size Claims

Conagra Brands recently emerged victorious when Judge William H. Orrick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted summary judgment in its favor, tossing claims that the company disguises the fat and calorie content of its Parkay Spray vegetable oil spray product (“Parkay”) with artificially small serving sizes. Allen v. Conagra … Continue Reading

Judge Dunks Plaintiffs’ Claims and Dismisses Oreo False Advertising Lawsuit

Judge Edward R. Korman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently granted Mondelēz Global’s motion to dismiss a putative class action challenging the advertising for its signature Oreo cookies. Harris v. Mondelēz Global, No. 19-cv-2249-ERK (E.D.N.Y. July 28, 2020). Plaintiffs alleged the Oreo manufacturer’s front label statement “Always Made … Continue Reading

Court Gives Vanilla Ice Cream False Advertising Claims a Frosty Reception

Judge Louis L. Stanton of the Southern District of New York recently granted defendant Wegmans Food Markets’motion to dismiss claims alleging that Wegmans falsely labels its vanilla ice cream. Plaintiffs sued Wegmans for false advertising, negligent misrepresentation, and deceptive acts in violation of federal and state law, alleging that despite labeling its product “vanilla ice … Continue Reading

Burger King Wins “Whopper” of a Case: Federal Court Finds No Promise of Method of Preparation in Advertisements for Meatless Burger

Judge Raag Singhal of the Southern District of Florida recently granted Burger King’s motion to dismiss a putative class action challenging its advertising for its plant-based “Impossible Burger,” and its motion to deny class certification. Williams v. Burger King, No. 19-24755 (S.D. Fla. July 20, 2020). Plaintiffs alleged Burger King’s advertisements for its non-meat “Impossible … Continue Reading

Added Allegations of Consumer Survey Results Fail to Sweeten the Deal: Court Dismisses “White Chips” False Advertising Suit With Prejudice

We previously blogged about the dismissal without prejudice of a putative consumer class action alleging that the well-known confectioner Ghirardelli misled consumers into believing its “Premium Baking Chips Classic White Chips” contained white chocolate. Last month, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the Northern District of California once again dismissed plaintiffs’ claims against Ghirardelli – this … Continue Reading

Court Decides Motion to Dismiss Crystal Light “No Artificial Flavors” Labeling Suit Lacks Juice

Last month, Judge Dale S. Fischer of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denied Kraft Heinz’s motion to dismiss a putative nationwide class action alleging Kraft falsely advertised its “Crystal Light” drink products as containing no artificial flavors when, according to plaintiffs, they contain synthetic DL-Malic Acid. Narguess Noohi v. The … Continue Reading
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