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Costco Kirkland “Black Raspberry” Sparkling Water Class Action

Kirkland Signature-brand black raspberry sparkling water is a product of Costco Wholesale Corporation. The issue in this class action is the source of the water’s taste. The complaint alleges that the product’s labeling “misleads consumers as to the relative amount, quantity and type of flavoring ingredients.

The complaint alleges, “At least seven out of ten consumers avoid artificial flavors because they believe the synthetic ingredients are associated with detrimental health effects.” They also want their food and drinks to be flavored with food ingredients instead of added flavors, “because this is perceived as more natural, less processed, and not made with additives or solvents that are used[] even in making ‘natural flavors.’”

Page 3 of the complaint shows a picture of the can for the black raspberry drink, displaying the words, “Sparkling Black Raspberry Flavor,” “Carbonated Flavored Water,” and two black raspberries.

Federal and state regulations on labeling “require the Product to disclose the source of its characterizing black raspberry flavor, i.e., from real black raspberry ingredients, extracted from black raspberries, from natural sources other than black raspberries, i.e., blueberries, or artificial sources, such as petroleum products.” Because the product as having a black raspberry flavor and showing pictures of black raspberries, the complaint says, consumers will expect that the source is black raspberries.

The complaint also reproduces the ingredient panel. In terms of flavoring or fruit ingredients, it shows “Natural Flavor” and “Malic Acid.” Malic acid helps give a tart or fruity taste. It comes in two varieties, L-malic acid, which is natural, and D-malic acid, D-malic acid most commonly is used in the form of DL-malic acid, which the complaint claims “is commercially made from petroleum products.”

The complaint alleges, “Based on laboratory analysis, the Product includes the ‘DL’ version of malic acid to improve its tart and fruity taste.” DL-malic acid is artificial and is made from petroleum products, the complaint says. According to the complaint, it “enhances and simulates the black raspberry taste” and the front label should therefore say that the drink is artificially flavored.

Black raspberries get their taste from many components, and they are also valued for their nutritive characteristics. The complaint alleges that the product “lacks an appreciable amount of black raspberry ingredients.”

Also on the ingredient panel is information about added food colorings. “To give consumers the false impression that the Product contains a greater absolute and relative amount of black raspberry ingredients than it does,” the complaint claims, “it contains red 40 and blue 1, synthetic food colorings made from petroleum.”

The complaint defines two classes for this action:

  • The Illinois Class is all persons in Illinois who bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations.
  • The Consumer Fraud Multi-State Class is all persons in Iowa and Arkansas who bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations.
Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Costco Kirkland “Black Raspberry” Sparkling Water Complaint

September 3, 2021

Kirkland Signature-brand black raspberry sparkling water is a product of Costco Wholesale Corporation. The issue in this class action is the source of the water’s taste. The complaint alleges that the product’s labeling “misleads consumers as to the relative amount, quantity and type of flavoring ingredients.

Costco Kirkland “Black Raspberry” Sparkling Water Complaint

Case Event History

Costco Kirkland “Black Raspberry” Sparkling Water Complaint

September 3, 2021

Kirkland Signature-brand black raspberry sparkling water is a product of Costco Wholesale Corporation. The issue in this class action is the source of the water’s taste. The complaint alleges that the product’s labeling “misleads consumers as to the relative amount, quantity and type of flavoring ingredients.

Costco Kirkland “Black Raspberry” Sparkling Water Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation