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Helados Mexico Paletas Country of Origin New York Class Action

Tropicale Foods, LLC makes frozen “paletas,” or bars, made created from fruit and sometimes milk, under the Helados Mexico brand. These frozen treats originated in Mexico, and the boxes bear the Helados Mexico brand name, an image of a Mexican ice cream cart, and words in Spanish. The complaint alleges that these things give consumers the idea that the paletas are made in Mexico, when in fact they are made in Ontario, California.

The class for this action is New York residents who bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations.

According to the complaint, paletas originated in Mexico in the 1940s. The complaint points to Ignacio Alcazar, who returned from a trip to the US with the idea of making something better than American popsicles, which the complaint says were “full of artificial ingredients like sugar syrups and food dyes.”

The Mexican treats sold in the 1940s were made from fresh ingredients. Paletas de leche contained fresh milk and fresh fruit. The paletas de agua contained whatever fruit was plentiful in the area, frequently mango, coconut, or lime. Paletas were often sold by a “paletero” pushing a cart of them through a neighborhood. The complaint alleges that paletas have become popular in the US “in areas where there was a large Mexican population” although they have never become as popular as the sugary popsicle.

The complaint alleges that consumers now look for “brands that are genuine—whisky from Scotland, sake from Japan, and Italian tomatoes from Italy.” In fact, the complaint claims, “[f]or many consumers, authenticity has overtaken quality as the prevailing purchasing criterion.” They often are willing to pay more for products that are authentic, particularly for those coming from a place associated with the product.

The complaint alleges, “In the present instance, consumers expect [Tropicale’s] paletas to be made in Mexico and to contain the unique characteristics of paletas made there.”

In what ways is it suggested that the paletas are made in Mexico? The front of the box bears the product name, “Helados Mexico,” in large letters, and an image of the traditional blue paleta pushcart. The complaint shows images of the front and back of the coconut variety. The front includes the words “Paleta de Crema,” “Con Crema,” and “Coco.” The back again bears the product name, “Helados Mexico,” in large letters, “Paleta de Crema,” and “The Delicious Taste of Mexico Naturally.”

However, the complaint alleges, “contrary to the Product’s representations and omissions, it is not made in Mexico, lacks the type and quality of ingredients historically associated with this food and is not made in the traditional methods.” It reproduces the address label on the back of the box showing that the product was made in Ontario, California.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Helados Mexico Paletas Country of Origin New York Complaint

July 6, 2021

Tropicale Foods, LLC makes frozen “paletas,” or bars, made created from fruit and sometimes milk, under the Helados Mexico brand. These frozen treats originated in Mexico, and the boxes bear the Helados Mexico brand name, an image of a Mexican ice cream cart, and words in Spanish. The complaint alleges that these things give consumers the idea that the paletas are made in Mexico, when in fact they are made in Ontario, California.

Helados Mexico Paletas Country of Origin New York Complaint

Case Event History

Helados Mexico Paletas Country of Origin New York Complaint

July 6, 2021

Tropicale Foods, LLC makes frozen “paletas,” or bars, made created from fruit and sometimes milk, under the Helados Mexico brand. These frozen treats originated in Mexico, and the boxes bear the Helados Mexico brand name, an image of a Mexican ice cream cart, and words in Spanish. The complaint alleges that these things give consumers the idea that the paletas are made in Mexico, when in fact they are made in Ontario, California.

Helados Mexico Paletas Country of Origin New York Complaint
Tags: Country of Origin, Deceptive Advertising