Hard Seltzer Co. Sued for Overstating Health Benefits
A proposed federal class action filed on October 24 alleges that Fermented Sciences Inc., which sells Flying Embers brand beverages, misled consumers into thinking its alcoholic kombucha and seltzer drinks are healthier than they are . According to the complaint, the beverages are promoted as containing “Antioxidant Vit[amin] C,” “Antioxidants,” “Real Botanicals,” and “Crafted with Live Probiotics,” among other claims like “Brewed with Benefits.” However, the plaintiff argues that the beverages are unlawfully fortified, the consumption of alcohol is contrary to dietary guidelines, and the addition of antioxidants, probiotics, and adaptogens to alcohol is misleading.
Additionally, the complaint alleges the label claims mislead consumers into believing that the positive effects of the drinks’ ingredients would outweigh the negative effects of alcohol. The ingredients in alcoholic beverages are alleged to provide little to no health benefits. Fermented Sciences Inc. is alleged to have used false health benefit claims in order to stand out in a saturated market and increase product prices.
The plaintiff argues that the claims constitute false advertising in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, breaches express and implied warranties, and are fraudulent. The court has been asked to certify two classes: one of Illinois residents who purchased Flying Embers products, and one of the consumers who bought the products in North Dakota, Kansas, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Delaware. The suit alleges that Flying Embers violated consumer fraud laws in those states.