Bear Naked Granola Fit “V’nilla” Almond Labeling Class Action

Vanilla is the only flavor with its own standard of identity in federal law. The complaint for this class action alleges that the Kellogg Sales Company does not properly label its Bear Naked Granola Fit V’nilla Almond cereal, because the use of the word “Vanilla” without qualification leads consumers to expect that the cereal is flavored only with vanilla from vanilla beans—something that the complaint alleges is not so.

The class for this action is California residents who bought Bear naked Granola Fit V’nilla Almond, or all persons who bought the product within California, for personal, family, or household purposes during the statute of limitations period.

Vanilla is a popular flavoring but it is also expensive and scarce. The complaint says that “there is strong incentive for bad actors to pass off less expensive and lower quality components as natural vanillin derived from the vanilla bean.” However, most vanillin in commercial use these days does not come from vanilla beans.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established food standards to protect people from fraud and food contamination. The complaint says that “a food labeled with the name of the food that is subject to the standard must be composed of the ingredients specified in the applicable standard.”

According to the complaint, “If a food contains any artificial flavor which resembles or reinforces the characterizing flavor, the name of the food on the label should be accompanied by the common or usual name of the characterizing flavor and the word(s) ‘artificial’ or ‘artificially flavored’ e.g. ‘artificial vanilla,’ ‘artificially flavored vanilla’ or ‘vanilla artificially flavored.[’]”

If the Bear Naked granola is flavored with both vanilla derived from vanilla beans and some other substance that’s natural but not from vanilla beans, the complaint says, “the principal display panel must indicate that its granola contains an ‘artificial’ flavor” and must therefore say something like, “natural and artificial flavors.”

The complaint therefore alleges that the packaging and marketing are misleading. The complaint points to the word “V’nilla” on the front of the package and, right below the words “V’nilla Almond,” the words “naturally flavored;” and on the back of the package, an image of vanilla beans.

However, the ingredient label for the granola lists no vanilla extract, vanilla flavoring, or vanilla beans; it lists only “natural flavors.” The complaint argues that “it would make no sense to use a more expensive and higher quality ingredient (vanilla extract or vanilla flavor) but designate it with a general term that could be perceived by some consumers to cost less money…”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Bear Naked Granola Fit “V’nilla” Almond Labeling Complaint

February 13, 2020

Vanilla is the only flavor with its own standard of identity in federal law. The complaint for this class action alleges that the Kellogg Sales Company does not properly label its Bear Naked Granola Fit V’nilla Almond cereal, because the word “V’nilla” suggests that the cereal is flavored only with real vanilla.

Bear Naked Granola Fit “V’nilla” Almond Labeling Complaint

Case Event History

Bear Naked Granola Fit “V’nilla” Almond Labeling Complaint

February 13, 2020

Vanilla is the only flavor with its own standard of identity in federal law. The complaint for this class action alleges that the Kellogg Sales Company does not properly label its Bear Naked Granola Fit V’nilla Almond cereal, because the word “V’nilla” suggests that the cereal is flavored only with real vanilla.

Bear Naked Granola Fit “V’nilla” Almond Labeling Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels