Simply Almond “Vanilla” Almondmilk Deceptive Labeling New York Class Action

The Simply Orange Juice Company is not simply about orange juice. It also makes a Simply Almond Vanilla almondmilk. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that the almondmilk labeled is misleading and deceptive, because it suggests to consumers that the almondmilk is flavored only with real vanilla.

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

The second page of the complaint shows an image of the Simply Almond product bottle. It shows the word “Vanilla” at the top of the label area along with an image of a single vanilla bean pod and a vanilla blossom. At the bottom of the bottle, in small type is “Vanilla Almondmilk,” while a tab between the cap and bottle says, “Simply Made. All Natural.”

The complaint charges, “The representations as ‘Vanilla’ are false, deceptive and misleading because the Product contains fake vanilla, not disclosed to consumers where they are expecting to see it on the front label.”

Vanilla is the second-most expensive flavoring in the world (after saffron). Because it is popular as well as expensive, food companies have been trying since the mid-1800s to find cheaper ways to approximate its taste.

Quoting a 1914 Notice of Judgment, the complaint says that consumers have a right to know “whether the product [they are buying] is flavored with a vanilla flavoring derived from vanilla beans, in whole or in part, or whether the food’s vanilla flavor is provided by flavorings not derived from vanilla beans.”

Vanilla is the only flavor to have its own standard of identity in the Code of Federal Regulations. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established these standards to keep manufacturers from fooling consumers with cheap or fake imitations that they passed off as vanilla.

How do we know that this almondmilk is not flavored exclusively with real vanilla? The complaint reproduces its ingredient label, which shows “…Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Vanilla Extract.” This indicates that the product contains some real vanilla, but less than the amount of some other kind of “natural flavors.”

Also, the complaint implies that it has been subjected to testing, saying that “the Product’s abnormal excess of vanillin relative to the profile of minor components in a vanilla preparation … is indicative of added vanillin.” It also claims that “the ‘Natural Flavors’ contain maltol or piperonal…”

The complaint quotes an FDA letter as saying, “The use of vanillin in a food characterized as vanilla requires the front label to state ‘artificially flavored.’” This is true for any food product characterized as “vanilla” but containing vanillin from a non-vanilla-bean source. Foods identified as “vanilla” but containing vanillin must be labeled as being “artificially flavored” even if the non-vanilla-bean source is originally “natural.”

The counts include negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and breaches of warranty, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Simply Almond “Vanilla” Almondmilk Deceptive Labeling New York Complaint

October 19, 2020

The Simply Orange Juice Company is not simply about orange juice. It also makes a Simply Almond Vanilla almondmilk. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that the almondmilk labeled is misleading and deceptive, because it suggests to consumers that the almondmilk is flavored only with real vanilla.

Simply Almond “Vanilla” Almondmilk Deceptive Labeling New York Complaint

Case Event History

Simply Almond “Vanilla” Almondmilk Deceptive Labeling New York Complaint

October 19, 2020

The Simply Orange Juice Company is not simply about orange juice. It also makes a Simply Almond Vanilla almondmilk. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that the almondmilk labeled is misleading and deceptive, because it suggests to consumers that the almondmilk is flavored only with real vanilla.

Simply Almond “Vanilla” Almondmilk Deceptive Labeling New York Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels