Carnation Breakfast Essentials “Classic French Vanilla” Multi-State Class Action

Consumers these days prefer foods and drinks with natural flavors over those with artificial flavors. The complaint for this class action alleges that Nestlé Healthcare Nutrition, Inc. takes advantage of this. Specifically, the complaint says it makes misleading representations about the flavors in its Classic French Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials high-protein drink.

The class for this action is all those who bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations who live in New York, Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

An image of the Classic French Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials product is displayed on page 2 of the complaint. The bottle shows the words “Classic French Vanilla,” “Natural Flavor with Other Natural Flavors,” and “No Artificial Flavors, Colors, [or] Sweeteners.”

However, the complaint contends that the company “misleads consumers because despite the representation that the flavoring is only from ‘natural flavor with other natural flavor’ and that it does not contain artificial flavors, the Product contains artificial flavor.”

How so? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set forth regulations for labeling that allow consumers to know the source of the flavoring in foods and drinks, the complaint says. There are four possible sources: “(1) … the characterizing ingredient [itself, i.e., actual strawberries in a strawberry shortcake], (2) natural flavor from the characterizing ingredient, i.e., strawberry flavor from strawberries, (3) natural flavor from [a] natural source other than the characterizing ingredient, i.e., strawberry flavor derived from cherries and/or (4) artificial flavor.”

The source dictates how the flavor of the item can be labeled. In the case of strawberry shortcake, for example, for each of the above kinds of sources, the following labeling is permitted:

  • If all the strawberry flavor comes from strawberries, as in (1), it can be labeled simply as “Strawberry Shortcake.”
  • If it contains some strawberries, but some of the flavor comes from natural flavor from actual strawberries, as in (2), it can be labeled as “natural strawberry flavored.”
  • If some flavor comes from strawberries but it contains other natural flavors that are not strawberries but that enhance, resemble, or simulate strawberry flavor, as in (3), the label must state “With Other Natural Flavor.”
  • If the flavor is artificial, as in (4), the label must say “Artificially Flavored.”

In the case of the Carnation product, the ingredient label shows no vanilla, only “Natural Flavor.” However, the complaint alleges, Laboratory testing [has] confirmed that the Product contains the synthetic[] artificial flavor of vanillin.” It further alleges that the testing showed that the product did not contain natural vanilla extract “since the analysis failed to identify the vanilla marker compounds.

The complaint contends that “the vanillin is synthesized from the synthetic petrochemical derivative[] guaiacol, which is the method that produces 85% of vanillin.” It claims that the labeling should include the words “Artificially Flavored,” “Naturally and Artificially Flavored,” or the like.

In addition, the complaint says, the product “contains stevia leaf extract, a non-natural, artificial sweetener.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Carnation Breakfast Essentials “Classic French Vanilla” Multi-State Complaint

February 17, 2021

Consumers these days prefer foods and drinks with natural flavors over those with artificial flavors. The complaint for this class action alleges that Nestlé Healthcare Nutrition, Inc. takes advantage of this. Specifically, the complaint says it makes misleading representations about the flavors in its Classic French Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials high-protein drink.

Carnation Breakfast Essentials “Classic French Vanilla” Multi-State Complaint

Case Event History

Carnation Breakfast Essentials “Classic French Vanilla” Multi-State Complaint

February 17, 2021

Consumers these days prefer foods and drinks with natural flavors over those with artificial flavors. The complaint for this class action alleges that Nestlé Healthcare Nutrition, Inc. takes advantage of this. Specifically, the complaint says it makes misleading representations about the flavors in its Classic French Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials high-protein drink.

Carnation Breakfast Essentials “Classic French Vanilla” Multi-State Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels