Natural Bliss “Vanilla” Almond Milk Coffee Creamer New York Class Action

A steady stream of class actions from a single law firm has been challenging the designation of certain food and drink products as “vanilla.” This latest entry brings suit against Nestle Holdings, Inc. for its Natural Bliss “Vanilla” Almond Milk Coffee Creamer, which the complaint claims does not contain the amount of real vanilla suggested by the unqualified use of “vanilla.”

The class for this action is all those who live in New York who bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations.

The second page of the complaint shows an image of the product at issue. At the very top, on the bottle’s neck, very visible in white on a blue ground, are the words “Vanilla” and “Natural Flavor.” Farther down are the words “All Natural” and an image of a vanilla blossom and three vanilla bean pods.

Directly below this image, the complaint contends, “Contrary to the front label representations of “Vanilla” and “Natural Flavor,” the Product is not flavored mainly from vanilla and has no appreciable amount of vanilla.”

Real vanilla is an expensive and scarce ingredient, and it is a complex flavor that is not easily replicated. The complaint refers to a 2018 “surge in fraudulently labeled vanilla flavored foods.”

The ingredient panel from the product lists no real vanilla. Instead, it shows only “Natural Flavors.” The complaint asserts, “‘Natural Flavor’ is a technical term for an ingredient which is a mix of flavors and does not consist only of vanilla.”

The complaint claims that the product’s labeling “is misleading because consumers will understand ‘Vanilla’ and ‘Natural Flavor’ as meaning a product is flavored with natural vanilla flavor, from the vanilla bean.”

However, the complaint also claims that “lab testing reveals an abnormal excess of vanillin relative to the odor-active compounds in authentic vanilla, an indicator of artificial vanillin.”

“Because vanillin is responsible for between one-quarter (25%) and one-third (33%) of the overall flavor/aroma impact of vanilla,” the complaint says, “the added vanillin skew the balance of flavor compounds which consumers associate with vanilla from vanilla beans.”

Could the vanillin be one of the purported natural flavors? The complaint says no, because no such ingredient as “natural vanillin” exists. Even if it did, this would violate federal labeling laws, because “any non-vanilla flavor compounds that simulate vanilla but are not derived from vanilla beans [are] considered artificial flavors that simulate the natural characterizing flavor.”

In addition, the legal standards for labeling a product as “vanilla” consider vanillin as an artificial flavor when it is used together with vanilla extract. The complaint therefore contends that the product should be labeled as being “artificially flavored.” The omission of this designation, the complaint says, makes the labeling misleading.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Natural Bliss “Vanilla” Almond Milk Coffee Creamer New York Complaint

November 22, 2020

A steady stream of class actions from a single law firm has been challenging the designation of certain food and drink products as “vanilla.” This latest entry brings suit against Nestle Holdings, Inc. for its Natural Bliss “Vanilla” Almond Milk Coffee Creamer, which the complaint claims does not contain the amount of real vanilla suggested by the unqualified use of “vanilla.”

Natural Bliss “Vanilla” Almond Milk Coffee Creamer New York Complaint

Case Event History

Natural Bliss “Vanilla” Almond Milk Coffee Creamer New York Complaint

November 22, 2020

A steady stream of class actions from a single law firm has been challenging the designation of certain food and drink products as “vanilla.” This latest entry brings suit against Nestle Holdings, Inc. for its Natural Bliss “Vanilla” Almond Milk Coffee Creamer, which the complaint claims does not contain the amount of real vanilla suggested by the unqualified use of “vanilla.”

Natural Bliss “Vanilla” Almond Milk Coffee Creamer New York Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels