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Crisco “Butter” No-Stick Spray Contains No Butter Class Action

The JM Smucker Company offers a spray sold as “Butter—No-Stick Spray” under its Crisco brand. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the product does not actually contain any butter.

Two classes have been defined 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.

The first page of the complaint shows an image of the product. The most prominent word on the can, aside from the “Crisco” brand name, is the word “Butter.” The image shows pancakes in a frying pan with a pat of melting butter on top.

Federal laws, as well as Illinois state laws, prohibit the false or deceptive labeling of food products. The complaint quotes one of these laws as stating that a food is misbranded if “its labeling is false or misleading in any particular.”

Consumers value butter as a natural dairy product. The complaint alleges, “Manufacturers have continually sought to sell foods purporting to contain butter but containing only lower-quality and cheaper vegetable oils.”

Consumers prefer butter to vegetable oils, for many reasons. Butter is natural, while vegetable oils may be synthetic. “Highly refined vegetable oils are subjected to hydrogenation and interesterification,” the complaint claims, “in the presence of chemical catalysts such as nickel and cadmium.” Butter contains calcium and vitamins A and D.

Butter has a sweet, creamy taste, and while vegetable oils may be “refined, bleached and deodorized, they are susceptible to oxidation, which makes them revert back to a cruder form with a “beany,” “powdery,” or “fishy” taste.

The complaint claims, “The [Food and Drug Administration (FDA)] recommends that where a food is labeled ‘Butter _____” or uses the word ‘butter’ in conjunction with its name, reasonable consumers will expect that whenever butter could be used in a product, it would be, instead of butter substitutes.”

The ingredient panel on the can shows no butter content. The first listed ingredient is “Canola Oil,” followed by “Soy Lecithin.” It also shows “Natural and Artificial Flavor.” While the “Natural and Artificial Flavor” claim is also made on the front panel, the complaint says “this is insufficient to disclose to consumers the Product has no butter.” Even that statement is smaller than required by FDA regulations, the complaint alleges, and it blends in with the background color, making it hard to notice or read.

The complaint alleges, with a quotation from the Code of Federal Regulations, “Consumers are misled because the front label fails to disclose—as required by law—that the purported butter spray is an imitation because ‘it is a substitute for and resembles another food [butter] but is nutritionally inferior to that food.’”

The counts include violations of state consumer fraud laws, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Crisco “Butter” No-Stick Spray Contains No Butter Complaint

September 27, 2021

The JM Smucker Company offers a spray sold as “Butter—No-Stick Spray” under its Crisco brand. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the product does not actually contain any butter.

Crisco “Butter” No-Stick Spray Contains No Butter Complaint

Case Event History

Crisco “Butter” No-Stick Spray Contains No Butter Complaint

September 27, 2021

The JM Smucker Company offers a spray sold as “Butter—No-Stick Spray” under its Crisco brand. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the product does not actually contain any butter.

Crisco “Butter” No-Stick Spray Contains No Butter Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Does Not Contain Implied Ingredients