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Truly Hard Seltzer Mislabeling of Flavored Drinks Class Action

Hard seltzers are a fast-growing category of alcoholic beverages. The Boston Beer Company, Inc. makes one of the three top-selling brands, Truly Hard Seltzers. But the complaint for this class action alleges that they are falsely and misleadingly labeled, because they do not contain the fruit named and shown on the label but only what the complaint calls “lab synthesized ingredients described as ‘natural flavors.’”

The National Class for this action is all persons in the US who bought the Truly Hard Seltzers in the US during the maximum time allowable under the statutes of limitations. California and New York Subclasses have been defined for those in these states who bought the products in their respective states.

The complaint quotes an article on the hard seltzer market as saying, “While Hard Seltzers have been around for centuries, millennial consumers’ demands for healthier, lower-calorie alcoholic beverages have helped drive the growth of the segment.” Hard seltzers combine seltzer water, alcohol, cane sugar and fruit or fruit flavor.

Truly Hard Seltzers are sold in twelve flavors. The complaint reproduces the front of a can of Truly Black Cherry, which shows the words, “Truly” and “Black Cherry” in large fonts and an image of whole black cherries. The complaint alleges that the word “Truly” “further emphasizes the veracity and authenticity of the Product’s contents.”

But the complaint alleges that the product “does not contain its characterizing ingredient (i.e., black cherry), but rather entirely derives its taste from lab synthesized ingredients described as ‘natural flavors.’” This is confirmed by the ingredient panel, which does not list any black cherry ingredients but merely “Natural Flavors.”

Natural flavors are those for which the original source is a plant or animal—not something man-made. The complaint claims, “Despite originating from a single natural source, the finalized flavor can contain as many as 250 chemically identified constituents, some of which are artificial and synthetic. Moreover, these additional chemicals can make up 80 to 90 percent of the flavor.”

The complaint claims, “By law, if a product does not contain its characterizing ingredient, that fact must be stated on the principal display panel in order to properly inform consumers that this is a ‘flavored’ product.” If the flavor comes from black cherries, the complaint claims, the front label should say it is “Black Cherry Flavored.” However, if the flavor comes from something other than black cherries, it says, then the front label should reveal that it is “Artificially Flavored.”

The complaint thus alleges that “Boston Beer has falsely and misleadingly labeled its Products, deceived its consumers, and violated the law.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Truly Hard Seltzer Mislabeling of Flavored Drinks Complaint

August 25, 2021

Hard seltzers are a fast-growing category of alcoholic beverages. The Boston Beer Company, Inc. makes one of the three top-selling brands, Truly Hard Seltzers. But the complaint for this class action alleges that they are falsely and misleadingly labeled, because they do not contain the fruit named and shown on the label but only what the complaint calls “lab synthesized ingredients described as ‘natural flavors.’”

Truly Hard Seltzer Mislabeling of Flavored Drinks Complaint

Case Event History

Truly Hard Seltzer Mislabeling of Flavored Drinks Complaint

August 25, 2021

Hard seltzers are a fast-growing category of alcoholic beverages. The Boston Beer Company, Inc. makes one of the three top-selling brands, Truly Hard Seltzers. But the complaint for this class action alleges that they are falsely and misleadingly labeled, because they do not contain the fruit named and shown on the label but only what the complaint calls “lab synthesized ingredients described as ‘natural flavors.’”

Truly Hard Seltzer Mislabeling of Flavored Drinks Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Does Not Contain Implied Ingredients