Blue Diamond Growers “Smokehouse” Almonds Deceptive Labels Class Action

If a food product is labeled as having a “smokehouse” flavor, does that mean it has actually been smoked? Should it mean that? According to the complaint for this class action, Blue Diamond Growers “Smokehouse” Almonds are deceptively labeled because they do not get their characterizing flavor from actual smoking but from added flavoring.

The class for this action is all those who bought the product in New York and the other forty-nine states during the applicable statute of limitations.

The package of the Smokehouse Almonds is depicted in the complaint, with the word “Smokehouse” prominently displayed below the word “Almonds.” According to the complaint, the company further encourages consumers to think the almonds have been smoked through its use of “the color scheme evocative of the fire used in actual smoking with red and orange-red coloring…”

The process of smoking involves cooking a food over a fire containing wood chips. Different types of wood chips create different flavorings. For example, the complaint says, hickory wood chips provide “hearty yet sweet” flavors when used to smoke nuts and meat.

The complaint alleges, “Where a product designates its characterizing flavor as ‘smoke’ without any qualifying terms—flavor, flavored, natural smoke flavor, artificial smoke flavored—consumers get the impression that its smoke taste is contributed by the food being prepared through actual smoking.”

The term does have a trademark symbol next to it, but the complaint claims that this does not communicate to consumers that the nuts are not actually smoked. It quotes a part of the Code of Federal Regulations saying, “If the food contains no artificial flavor which simulates, resembles or reinforces the characterizing flavor, the name of the food on the principal display panel or panels of the label shall be accompanied by the common or usual name of the characterizing flavor…”

There is no information on the package labels showing whether the product has been prepared through the use of smoking. But the ingredient panel, reproduced in the complaint, shows something called “Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor.” Would this have been added if the nuts had actually been smoked?

The complaint compares the packaging with a similar Planters product which is labeled, Smoked Almonds, Naturally Flavored.” This, the complaint says, communicates that the flavor of smoke has been added rather than achieved by smoking.

According to the complaint, Blue Diamond Growers has engaged in negligent misrepresentation, breaches of express and implied warranties and the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, fraud, and unjust enrichment.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Blue Diamond Growers “Smokehouse” Almonds Deceptive Labels Complaint

March 22, 2020

If a food product is labeled as having a “smokehouse” flavor, does that mean it has actually been smoked? Should it mean that? According to the complaint for this class action, Blue Diamond Growers “Smokehouse” Almonds are deceptively labeled because they do not get their characterizing flavor from actual smoking but from added flavoring.

Blue Diamond Growers “Smokehouse” Almonds Deceptive Labels Complaint

Case Event History

Blue Diamond Growers “Smokehouse” Almonds Deceptive Labels Complaint

March 22, 2020

If a food product is labeled as having a “smokehouse” flavor, does that mean it has actually been smoked? Should it mean that? According to the complaint for this class action, Blue Diamond Growers “Smokehouse” Almonds are deceptively labeled because they do not get their characterizing flavor from actual smoking but from added flavoring.

Blue Diamond Growers “Smokehouse” Almonds Deceptive Labels Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation