Orgain Vanilla Organic Protein Almondmilk No Vanilla Ingredients Class Action

Under what conditions can a drink, like an almondmilk, be labeled simply as “Vanilla,” without a qualifier, such as “Vanilla Flavored” or “Artificially Flavored Vanilla”? The complaint for this class action alleges that Orgain, LLC’s Unsweetened Vanilla Organic Protein Almondmilk is improperly labeled because its unqualified use of the word “Vanilla” makes consumers think that it contains enough real vanilla to provide the flavor.

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

An image of the container is on page 13 of the complaint, labeled as Exhibit A. It shows the front label, including the word “Vanilla” centered directly under the word “Unsweetened.” The complaint alleges, “The prominent and conspicuous display of the word ‘vanilla’ on the Product’s front label misleads reasonable consumers to believe that the product contains ‘vanilla,’ as the Product’s characterizing ingredient that delivers the Product’s promised vanilla flavor.”

The complaint goes on, “Instead, the Product is flavored with ‘organic natural flavors’ and ‘natural flavor’ that provide[] for the Product’s characterizing vanilla flavor. Page 14 of the complaint shows an image of the ingredient panel, which does not list “vanilla extract” or any other substance from the vanilla plant. Instead, it lists “Organic Natural Flavors” and “Natural Flavor.”

According to the complaint, the labeling should disclose “that vanilla is a flavor and not an ingredient…” Because it does not make this clear, the complaint claims, “the Product’s labeling is not in compliance with federal food labeling laws and regulations and substantially identical state food labeling laws and regulations.”

It quotes from federal regulations to support this claim, and points out that Massachusetts “has expressly adopted the federal labeling laws and regulations.”

What’s the difference in the labeling as long as the flavor is “natural”? The complaint says, “Some oil, protein, essence, or other extraction of the vanilla bean may have been used to create the Product’s natural flavor.” But this is not itself vanilla, it explains: “Instead, the scientists who created the Product’s natural flavor would have isolated proteins form the vanilla bean’s cells and tissue or extracted oils or essences… 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.”

The complaint also contains an image of the labeling for a competing product, a Stop & Shop Vanilla Almondmilk product, as Exhibit B. This product is not misbranded, the complaint claims, because it is identified as “Almondmilk Vanilla Naturallhy Flavored with Other Natural Flavors.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Orgain Vanilla Organic Protein Almondmilk No Vanilla Ingredients Complaint

February 12, 2021

Under what conditions can a drink, like an almondmilk, be labeled simply as “Vanilla,” without a qualifier, such as “Vanilla Flavored” or “Artificially Flavored Vanilla”? The complaint for this class action alleges that Orgain, LLC’s Unsweetened Vanilla Organic Protein Almondmilk is improperly labeled because its unqualified use of the word “Vanilla” makes consumers think that it contains enough real vanilla to provide the flavor.

Orgain Vanilla Organic Protein Almondmilk No Vanilla Ingredients Complaint

Case Event History

Orgain Vanilla Organic Protein Almondmilk No Vanilla Ingredients Complaint

February 12, 2021

Under what conditions can a drink, like an almondmilk, be labeled simply as “Vanilla,” without a qualifier, such as “Vanilla Flavored” or “Artificially Flavored Vanilla”? The complaint for this class action alleges that Orgain, LLC’s Unsweetened Vanilla Organic Protein Almondmilk is improperly labeled because its unqualified use of the word “Vanilla” makes consumers think that it contains enough real vanilla to provide the flavor.

Orgain Vanilla Organic Protein Almondmilk No Vanilla Ingredients Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels