Class Actions Continue to Target Butter & Vanilla
Two recently-filed class actions target Pepperidge Farm butter-flavored crackers and Nestlé vanilla-flavored coffee creamer:
Pepperidge Farm Butter Crackers: A class of consumers filed suit against Pepperidge Farm, Inc. on May 31, 2021 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois claiming that the company’s “Golden Butter” crackers are misleadingly labeled because the product does not contain a meaningful amount of butter and uses primarily synthetic substitutes like vegetable oils. The claims are based on alleged violations of Illinois consumer protection law, federal warranty law, and unjust enrichment. As we previously reported, Pepperidge Farm faces a lawsuit based on similar claims in New York.
Nestlé Vanilla-Flavored Coffee-mate: A class of consumers filed suit against Nestlé USA in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on June 2, 2021 alleging that its natural vanilla-flavored Coffee-mate products are misleadingly labeled because the products purport to contain natural vanilla flavor when they instead contain primarily artificial vanilla flavor. The claims are based on alleged violations of California consumer protection law and unjust enrichment. Vanilla flavoring remains a popular target for class actions.
Two other cases in the consumer class action space have recently settled:
Pressed Juicery “Greens Juice” Settlement: Pressed Juicery, Inc. reached a $695,000 settlement agreement with a class of plaintiffs that sued claiming the company’s “Greens Juices” product contained sugary fruit juices as the primary ingredients instead of the green vegetables represented on the labels. Consumers that purchased qualifying product between May 1, 2014 and May 19, 2021 are eligible to file a claim and receive $1 per product purchased for up to 10 products. Claimants need not show proof of purchase. Final approval of the settlement is scheduled for October 8, 2021.
Blue Diamond Vanilla Flavoring Settlement: Blue Diamond Growers reached a $2.6 million settlement with a class of plaintiffs that sued claiming “Almond Breeze” brand nut-based dairy-alternative products that referenced vanilla flavor did not use real vanilla. Consumers that purchased qualifying products between April 15, 2014 and May 17, 2021 are eligible to file a claim and receive $0.50 per product without proof of purchase, or up to $1 per product with proof of purchase, for up to 10 products. A fairness hearing is scheduled for August 25, 2021, and claims must be submitted by November 23, 2021.