Kraft Heinz Deceptive Labeling Settlement Approved
On July 13, 2021, U.S. District Judge Rodolfo A. Ruiz II approved a $16 million class settlement to resolve claims that Kraft Heinz Foods Co. engaged in deceptive labeling with its Maxwell House and Yuban ground coffee brands. As we previously reported, the class action lawsuit alleged that Kraft Heinz “grossly” exaggerated the number of cups of coffee that could be made from the contents of the package.
As part of the settlement, Kraft Heinz will remove the labeling language at issue or revise the serving ranges to correspond to the cups of coffee that can be brewed when following the single cup or 10 cup directions. Kraft Heinz will reimburse consumers at $0.80 per unit, up to a maximum of $25 per household, or up to six units without proof of purchase, according to the order. In addition, Kraft Heinz will pay $3.9 million in attorney fees and costs.
Judge Ruiz concluded that the settlement is “fair, adequate, and reasonable,” provides monetary relief for the class, and ensures that Kraft Heinz will remove or correct the challenged claims. If the case had proceeded, Judge Ruiz explained that there would likely be a “battle of experts” with an uncertain outcome and that class certification issues would have been highly contested. Judge Ruiz also stated that the settlement “avoids the risk that class members would not obtain anything should the case be decided on summary judgment or at trial in favor of [Kraft Heinz].”