Chobani “Vanilla” Greek Yogurt Artificial Flavor California Class Action

Chobani, LLC is known for its yogurt products. The complaint for this class action alleges, however, that its “vanilla” yogurt is mislabeled, and that the vanilla flavor “is derived by spiking the Product with other inferior flavoring.”

The class for this action is all persons in California who bought the Chobani “Vanilla” Yogurt product between October 23, 2016 and the date of judgment in this case.

Page 1 of the complaint shows an image of the yogurt cup package. Directly beneath the “Chobani” name and the designation “Greek Yogurt” is the unqualified word “Vanilla” in large letters. Also on the front are images of two vanilla blossoms and two vanilla bean pods.

It also displays a somewhat extravagant paragraph: “Carried from some faroff, exotic place, where a little flower became a little bean. And that little bean, suspended and unremarkable, the cloak that conceals the magic within. Flavor like perfume, folded up in earthen envelopes, rich and warm and wonderful. Entirely vanilla, gently opening like the blossom that began it all.”

The complaint alleges, however, that “the Product’s vanilla flavor[] is not ‘[e]ntirely vanilla’ as its label suggests. Scientific testing of the Product revealed that the vanilla flavoring of the Product does not come exclusively from the vanilla bean.” The “vanilla” claims, it says, are false and misleading.

Customers these days want flavor from natural and “real” sources, the complaint says: “Unfortunately, vanilla fraud is rampant. As in this case, companies adulterate their purported vanilla flavored products with cheap synthetics and/or substitutes in order to reap even larger corporate profits from customers.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establishes standards and rules for the proper and lawful labeling of foods, in an attempt to stop such food fraud. In particular, it has strict rules on the labeling of “vanilla” products.

The complaint claims that “only vanilla flavor derived from the vanilla bean is allowed to [be] labeled ‘Vanilla’ without any qualifiers. If the vanilla flavor comes in any part from non-vanilla bean sources, the FDA mandates that the label must so inform consumers.” If, for example, a product is characterized as “vanilla” but contains vanillin that is not from the vanilla bean, “the label and packaging must declare vanillin an artificial flavor.”

The Chobani labeling, then, communicates that the yogurt product is flavored only with substances from the vanilla bean. However, the complaint claims, this is not true: “Specifically, scientific testing of the Product[s] revealed that the vanilla flavoring of the Products does not come exclusively from the vanilla bean.”

Article Type:
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Chobani “Vanilla” Greek Yogurt Artificial Flavor California Complaint

October 23, 2020

Chobani, LLC is known for its yogurt products. The complaint for this class action alleges, however, that its “vanilla” yogurt is mislabeled, and that the vanilla flavor “is derived by spiking the Product with other inferior flavoring.”

Chobani “Vanilla” Greek Yogurt Artificial Flavor California Complaint

Case Event History

Chobani “Vanilla” Greek Yogurt Artificial Flavor California Complaint

October 23, 2020

Chobani, LLC is known for its yogurt products. The complaint for this class action alleges, however, that its “vanilla” yogurt is mislabeled, and that the vanilla flavor “is derived by spiking the Product with other inferior flavoring.”

Chobani “Vanilla” Greek Yogurt Artificial Flavor California Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels