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Golub Corporation PICS “Vanilla” Nonfat Greek Yogurt Massachusetts Class Action

What requirements must a product meet before it can be labeled as simply “Vanilla,” without qualifications? The complaint for this class action brings suit against the Golub Corporation, claiming it has mislabeled thePICS Vanilla Nonfat Greek Yogurt sold in its Price Chopper stores. An image of the container is attached to the original complaint as Exhibit A.

The class for this action is all individual Massachusetts consumers who bought the product at issue during the applicable statute of limitations.

According to the complaint, the product “conspicuously displays the word Vanilla and an image of a flowering vanilla plant” along with vanilla bean pods, which, it says, “misleads reasonable consumers to believe that the Product contains vanilla as the Product’s characterizing ingredient that delivers the Product’s promised vanilla flavor.”

Further, it claims that labeling the yogurt “as if it contains vanilla as an ingredient, without reference to any wording that would inform reasonable consumers that the Product does not contain vanilla as an ingredient is deceptive, misleading, and unjust.” The complaint claims that the ingredient panel shows no vanilla, only “Natural Flavors.”

In other words, the complaint claims, the product “was characterized by a specific ingredient”—vanilla—“yet it did not contain that ingredient. It was flavored, instead, a fact that was not disclosed on the Product’s front label.”

A federal law, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the sale of food products in the US. Under the FDCA, a food is considered “misbranded” if its labeling is “false or misleading in any particular.”

The complaint alleges, “Since the Product does not disclose that vanilla is a flavor and not an ingredient, the Product’s labeling is not in compliance with federal food labeling laws and regulations and substantially identical state food labeling laws and regulations.”

The complaint claims that vanilla extract was not used to flavor the yogurt; if it had been, it would have appeared in the list of ingredients. “Instead,” it says, “the scientists who created the Product’s natural flavor would have isolated proteins from the vanilla bean’s cells and tissue or extracted oils or essences from the vanilla bean. However, because those isolated compounds may not taste like vanilla, the scientist would have combined those extractions with any other extractions from other plants and animals to create a flavoring substance that tastes like vanilla.”

As a comparison, Exhibit B of the complaint shows a container of a Lucerne Foods “O Organics Vanilla Flavored with Other Natural Flavors Organic Yogurt.” Its ingredient panel lists both “Natural Flavors” and “Natural Vanilla Flavor” and the container shows “Vanilla Flavored with Other Natural Flavors.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Golub Corporation PICS “Vanilla” Nonfat Greek Yogurt Massachusetts Complaint

February 25, 2021

What requirements must a product meet before it can be labeled as simply “Vanilla,” without qualifications? The complaint for this class action brings suit against the Golub Corporation, claiming it has mislabeled thePICS Vanilla Nonfat Greek Yogurt sold in its Price Chopper stores. An image of the container is attached to the original complaint as Exhibit A.

Golub Corporation PICS “Vanilla” Nonfat Greek Yogurt Massachusetts Complaint

Case Event History

Golub Corporation PICS “Vanilla” Nonfat Greek Yogurt Massachusetts Complaint

February 25, 2021

What requirements must a product meet before it can be labeled as simply “Vanilla,” without qualifications? The complaint for this class action brings suit against the Golub Corporation, claiming it has mislabeled thePICS Vanilla Nonfat Greek Yogurt sold in its Price Chopper stores. An image of the container is attached to the original complaint as Exhibit A.

Golub Corporation PICS “Vanilla” Nonfat Greek Yogurt Massachusetts Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels