Chobani “Vanilla” Coffee Creamer New York Class Action

Chobani, a company known primarily for its yogurt, also makes a coffee creamer under the Chobani brand that purports to be flavored only with vanilla. However, the complaint alleges that this is a false claim. Vanilla is a popular but scarce and expensive flavoring, and companies are aware that today’s consumers prefer natural flavors—such as vanilla that comes exclusively from the vanilla plant.

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

The second page of the complaint shows an image of the front of the creamer bottle, prominently displaying the word “Vanilla” centered directly under the product name, “Coffee Creamer.”

The complaint asserts, “The unqualified, prominent and conspicuous representation as ‘Vanilla’ is false, deceptive and misleading because the Product contains non-vanilla flavors which imitate, resemble and extend vanilla’s taste but are not derived from vanilla bean[s], yet these flavors are not disclosed to consumers on the front label as required and expected.”

Because vanilla is desirable but the second most expensive flavoring on earth (after saffron), companies that make vanilla-flavored products have an incentive to try to recreate a vanilla taste with cheaper ingredients. However, vanilla is the only flavor with its own flavor-identity rules in the Code of Federal Regulations. The complaint claims, “These standards require that where a product is labeled as ‘vanilla,’ the addition of non-vanilla flavors that increase and promote a vanilla taste are required to be declared as artificial flavors, so consumers are not misled.”

According to the complaint, the coffee creamer product’s “front label of ‘Vanilla’ without other terms such as ‘flavored,’ ‘other natural flavor,’ ‘artificially flavored’ or ‘naturally flavored’ means that only vanilla ingredients provide its taste.”

However, the complaint reproduces the product’s ingredient list, which lists “natural flavors” before “vanilla extract.” Since ingredients are listed in the order of amount, this means that the product contains a greater amount of some undefined “natural flavors” than of real vanilla. In fact, “vanilla extract” is the last item on the list, meaning that the product contains less of this than of any other ingredient.

The complaint reminds us, “For the Product’s ‘natural flavors’ to avoid being mentioned on the front label, they would have to provide a taste sensation completely unrelated to vanilla.” It concludes, “[Chobani’s] branding and packaging of the Product is designed to—and does—deceive, mislead, and defraud plaintiffs and consumers.”

The complaint alleges negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and breaches of warranties, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Chobani “Vanilla” Coffee Creamer New York Complaint

July 7, 2020

Chobani, a company known primarily for its yogurt, also makes a coffee creamer under the Chobani brand that purports to be flavored only with vanilla. However, the complaint alleges that this is a false claim. Vanilla is a popular but scarce and expensive flavoring, and companies are aware that today’s consumers prefer natural flavors—such as vanilla that comes exclusively from the vanilla plant.

Chobani “Vanilla” Coffee Creamer New York Complaint

Case Event History

Chobani “Vanilla” Coffee Creamer New York Complaint

July 7, 2020

Chobani, a company known primarily for its yogurt, also makes a coffee creamer under the Chobani brand that purports to be flavored only with vanilla. However, the complaint alleges that this is a false claim. Vanilla is a popular but scarce and expensive flavoring, and companies are aware that today’s consumers prefer natural flavors—such as vanilla that comes exclusively from the vanilla plant.

Chobani “Vanilla” Coffee Creamer New York Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels