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Coffee Mate Natural Bliss “Natural Vanilla” Creamer California Class Action

Nestlé USA, Inc. makes foods and drinks, including a Coffee Mate Natural Bliss dairy creamer that claims to be “natural” and flavored primarily or exclusively with natural vanilla. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the creamer’s representations of “natural” and “vanilla” are false and misleading.

The class for this action is all persons living in California who bought the product for personal or household consumption and use, since May 23, 2015.

On page 2 of the complaint is an image of the bottle of creamer, showing a number of representations: “Vanilla,” “Natural Flavor,” the brand name “Natural Bliss,” “All Natural,” “All Natural Coffee Creamer,” “No GMO Ingredients,” and an image of a vanilla flower and two vanilla bean pods.

The back panel, similarly, shows a bottle of milk, a pitcher of cream, and the image of the vanilla flower and pods. Below are the words, “Made with only Milk & Cream, Cane Sugar, Natural Vanilla Flavor.” Another part of the back panel says, “Natural Vanilla Flavor Includes Extracts from Real Beans from Madagascar.”

The complaint alleges, “While vanillin …. Is the major component of natural vanilla, it only contributes one-third of its flavor and aroma.” This is because vanilla is a complex flavor, “from more than two hundred odor-active compounds…”

Vanillin has been available for flavoring since the 19th century. However, it does not have the full range of these flavor elements, such as methyl cinnamate and cinnamyl alcohol, and therefore cannot provide the real flavor of vanilla.

Consumers these days prefer natural ingredients and natural flavors. The complaint alleges, “Seventy percent of consumers avoid artificial flavors, made through harsh processing and synthetic ingredients, because they are linked to detrimental health and environmental effects.”

Reproduced in the complaint are images of artificially-flavored products that are properly labeled. The complaint alleges that these “cost no more than $2.49” per 16 ounces of product, “a substantial amount less than” the Coffee Mate creamer at $3.79 for a 16-ounce container.

The ingredient panel for the creamer shows “Nonfat Milk, Heavy Cream, Cane Sugar, Natural Flavor.”

The complaint quotes a dairy expert as saying, “Natural flavor … (with no mention of vanilla at all) indicates just a trace of natural vanilla (there’s no required level) and other flavorings such as nutmeg that merely trigger an association” with vanilla. Even the statement that the “Natural Vanilla Flavor Includes Extracts from Real Beans…” can hide the fact that the amount included is “de minimis or negligible.”

Furthermore, according to the complaint, “analytical testing of the Product in 2020 and 2021 confirmed that the Product’s ‘vanilla’ taste is not from natural vanilla but artificial flavor.” This is indicated because the vanillin was unaccompanied by expected amounts of key aromatic compounds—methyl cinnamate, cinnamyl alcohol” and other substances that are present in natural vanilla extract but not in vanillin.

The “natural” representations, the complaint alleges, are therefore misleading.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Coffee Mate Natural Bliss “Natural Vanilla” Creamer California Complaint

June 2, 2021

Nestlé USA, Inc. makes foods and drinks, including a Coffee Mate Natural Bliss dairy creamer that claims to be “natural” and flavored primarily or exclusively with natural vanilla. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the creamer’s representations of “natural” and “vanilla” are false and misleading.

Coffee Mate Natural Bliss “Natural Vanilla” Creamer California Complaint

Case Event History

Coffee Mate Natural Bliss “Natural Vanilla” Creamer California Complaint

June 2, 2021

Nestlé USA, Inc. makes foods and drinks, including a Coffee Mate Natural Bliss dairy creamer that claims to be “natural” and flavored primarily or exclusively with natural vanilla. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the creamer’s representations of “natural” and “vanilla” are false and misleading.

Coffee Mate Natural Bliss “Natural Vanilla” Creamer California Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels