Class Action Alleges Food Produced in New York Misleadingly Suggests Icelandic Origin
On January 23, 2021, plaintiffs filed a putative class action complaint in the United States District Court Southern District of New York against Icelandic Provisions, Inc. (“Company”), which sells Skyr, a traditional Icelandic cultured dairy product. Plaintiffs allege that the Company’s marketing and advertising misleads consumers to believe that the Skyr is made in Iceland when actually it is produced in Batavia, New York.
The complaint alleges fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and violation of state consumer-protection statutes. Plaintiffs claim that the depiction of the Icelandic countryside with a snow covered backdrop, the statement “Traditional Icelandic Skyr,” and Company’s name, “Icelandic Provisions” misleads consumers to believe that the product is made in Iceland. Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that Company’s inclusion of “Developed in partnership with MS Iceland Dairies, Reykjavik, ISL” is misleading because it furthers the impression that the Skyr is made in Iceland.
The plaintiff’s counsel is Sheehan & Associates, a firm that has become known in recent years for its pursuit of class action litigation claiming harm to consumers from allegedly misleading food labeling. The Sheehan firm has represented a number of class action plaintiffs in recent flavor labeling challenges. Origin and geographic claims have drawn scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, state regulators, and most recently, class action plaintiffs’ lawyers.