Almond Breeze “Vanilla” Almond Coconut Blend New York Class Action

Blue Diamond Growers sells a Vanilla Almond Coconut Blend of almondmilk and coconutmilk blend under its Almond Breeze brand. But in this class action, the complaint alleges that the advertising and package labeling for the product is false or misleading because the product “purport[s] to be flavored only with vanilla.”

The class for this action is all those who live in New York who bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations.

The second page of the complaint shows an image of the carton of the unsweetened variety, with the word “Vanilla” prominently displayed near the top of the carton and images of almonds and pieces of coconut splashing into a white liquid.

The complaint states, “The representation as ‘Vanilla’ is false, deceptive and misleading because the Product contains fake, artificial vanilla which provides the vanilla taste, and the amount of real vanilla, if any, is trace or de minimis.”

Vanilla is both very popular and very expensive. Science has not been able to completely reproduce its flavor because it encompasses over 200 compounds, but price and shortages have provided incentive for flavor makers to keep looking for ways to imitate it.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established vanilla standards in the 1960s to prevent the deception of consumers and the false labeling of foods and drinks as “vanilla” if they did not derive their flavor from vanilla beans.

The complaint says, “When a food was labeled as ‘vanilla’ without qualifications, it was understood by consumers that the flavoring was only from the ingredient of vanilla beans.”

What about the Almond Breeze “vanilla” drink? The complaint reproduces the ingredient panel, which does not list any vanilla ingredients. It lists only “Natural Flavors.”

This in itself indicates that little if any real vanilla was used in the product, since that would have been identified as “vanilla extract” or the like in the listing. But the complaint has had a sample tested and adds, “That the ‘Natural Flavors’ contains added vanillin is demonstrated through GC-MS analysis, a method of targeted and non-targeted detection which can identify the range of volatile compounds responsible for vanilla’s flavor with minimal to no degradation.”

The test results, the complaint says, “shows the Product contains an abnormal excess of vanillin … relative to the profile of minor components in a vanilla preparation, which is a strong indicator it contains vanillin from non-vanilla sources.”

The complaint quotes from an FDA letter on vanilla flavoring in saying, “Because the Product is characterized as ‘vanilla’ and ‘contains vanillin derived from a non[-]vanilla[-]bean source,’ it should be labeled as ‘artificially flavored.’” However, the front label does not say “artificially flavored” as it should.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Almond Breeze “Vanilla” Almond Coconut Blend New York Complaint

October 25, 2020

Blue Diamond Growers sells a Vanilla Almond Coconut Blend of almondmilk and coconutmilk blend under its Almond Breeze brand. But in this class action, the complaint alleges that the advertising and package labeling for the product is false or misleading because the product “purport[s] to be flavored only with vanilla.”

Almond Breeze “Vanilla” Almond Coconut Blend New York Complaint

Case Event History

Almond Breeze “Vanilla” Almond Coconut Blend New York Complaint

October 25, 2020

Blue Diamond Growers sells a Vanilla Almond Coconut Blend of almondmilk and coconutmilk blend under its Almond Breeze brand. But in this class action, the complaint alleges that the advertising and package labeling for the product is false or misleading because the product “purport[s] to be flavored only with vanilla.”

Almond Breeze “Vanilla” Almond Coconut Blend New York Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels