Truli “Vanilla” Almondmilk Labeling Class Action

The only flavor with its own “standard of identity” in federal flavoring regulations—its own requirements for labeling—is vanilla. The complaint for this class action alleges that Save-A-Lot Holdings, Inc. mislabels its Truli brand “Vanilla” Almondmilk product in labeling the flavor “vanilla” without qualifiers. 

The complaint shows an image of the front of the product’s carton. The word “Vanilla” is prominently displayed above the word “Almond.” The complaint says, “The representations are misleading because thought the Product’s characterizing flavor is represented as vanilla, the vanilla taste and flavor is not provided exclusively by vanilla beans.”

Vanilla is a sought-after flavor, but it’s also expensive and in short supply in the world. Because of this, food manufacturers have looked for ways to reproduce the flavor of vanilla without the use of the vanilla bean.

One way of doing this is via the use of vanillin, which has been around since the mid-1800s. According to the complaint, “Today, only 1-2% of vanillin in commercial use is vanillin obtained from the vanilla plant…” The complaint argues that “‘natural vanillin’ is not a ‘natural vanilla flavor’ because the raw material is typically from petrochemicals or tree pulp instead of vanilla beans.”

Labeling must take into consideration the presence and proportion of the characterizing flavor’s natural sources, other natural flavors, and artificial flavors. The complaint says that a label that characterizes a product as simply “Vanilla” implies that all the flavor comes from vanilla beans.

In fact, the ingredient label for the almondmilk does not list any vanilla at all. As reproduced in the complaint, it lists only “Natural Flavors.”

The complaint alleges, “The ‘Natural Flavors’ contain non-vamilla components which simulate, resemble, extend and/or reinforce the characterizing flavor of vanilla, yet this is not disclosed on the front label.” According to the complaint, the designation “Vanilla” should have some kind of qualifier, in keeping with the actual flavoring, such as “Vanilla Flavored Almondmilk,” “Vanilla Almondmilk with Other Natural Flavors,” or whatever is correct given the presence and proportion of the various ingredients.

According to the complaint, in this day and age when consumers prefer natural ingredients, the amount of vanilla used in the product, as opposed to other, non-vanilla flavorings, has a direct bearing on consumer acceptance of a product and on how much consumers are willing to pay for it.

The class for this action is consumers in New York and the other forty-nine states, presumably those who bought the Truli Vanilla Almondmilk based on the misleading representations during the statute of limitations.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Truli “Vanilla” Almondmilk Labeling Complaint

February 3, 2020

The only flavor with its own “standard of identity” in federal flavoring regulations—its own requirements for labeling—is vanilla. The complaint for this class action alleges that Save-A-Lot Holdings, Inc. mislabels its Truli brand “Vanilla” Almondmilk product in labeling the flavor “vanilla” without qualifiers. 

truli_22vanilla22_almondmillk_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Truli “Vanilla” Almondmilk Labeling Complaint

February 3, 2020

The only flavor with its own “standard of identity” in federal flavoring regulations—its own requirements for labeling—is vanilla. The complaint for this class action alleges that Save-A-Lot Holdings, Inc. mislabels its Truli brand “Vanilla” Almondmilk product in labeling the flavor “vanilla” without qualifiers. 

truli_22vanilla22_almondmillk_complaint.pdf
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels