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Whole Foods Lemon Raspberry Mineral Water Fruit Content Class Action

Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. makes a Whole Foods Market brand of Lemon Raspberry Italian Sparkling Mineral Water that come in one-liter bottles. The complaint for this class action alleges that the labeling and marketing of the product lead consumers to think that the flavor of the mineral water comes from real lemons and raspberries, when it does not.

The class for this action is all those who bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations who live in New, Wyoming, Maine, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Delaware, and Ohio.

Page 2 of the complaint shows the bottle of the product bearing a label that says “Lemon Raspberry” in bold letters, below which are the words “Italian Sparkling Mineral Water.” Under that, in a small, light font are the words “With Organic Flavors.” The label shows an image of two lemons and a handful of raspberries.

The complaint alleges, “New York State regulations require companies to truthfully disclose whether a food or beverage contains the ingredients pictured on its label.”

Foods and drinks can get their flavors either from a food—an ingredient with a nutritive value, like a lemon or raspberries—or from a flavoring.

Consumers these days prefer that flavors come from food ingredients, because, the complaint alleges, “this is perceived as more natural, less processed and not exposed to additives or solvents that are used even in making ‘natural flavors.’” They also prefer that the food ingredient be the one named and depicted. For example, they prefer that lemon flavor come from lemons instead of limes, and that raspberry flavor come from raspberries and not from strawberries.

The complaint contends, “Consumers will expect an appreciable amount of lemon and raspberry ingredients because these fruits are pictured on the label.” But the complaint alleges, “Contrary to the representations, the Product does not contain an appreciable amount of lemon and raspberry ingredients, nor is its flavor only and/or predominantly from lemons and raspberries.”

The complaint reproduces the ingredient panel for the water, which lists “Organic Natural Flavors (Raspberry, Lemon).” How is this deceptive? According to the complaint, “‘[Organic] Natural Flavor’ is the term used where multiple extractives from real fruit ingredients, along with additives and solvents, are combined in a laboratory.”

Furthermore, “Lemon” and “Raspberry” are listed only parenthetically, under the category of “Organic Natural Flavor.” The complaint claims, “Because lemon oil and raspberry oil or raspberry extract are not separately identified ingredients, it means that any real lemon or raspberry flavoring is at most a de minimis or a trace amount and is part of the ‘Organic Natural Flavor’ ingredient.”

The complaint claims that the “Organic Natural Flavor” in the product “instead consists of flavor compounds which imitate the taste provided by lemons and raspberries.” These flavoring ingredients, it alleges, are cheaper and more concentrated but lack a good part of real lemon or raspberry flavor.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Whole Foods Lemon Raspberry Mineral Water Fruit Content Complaint

April 11, 2021

Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. makes a Whole Foods Market brand of Lemon Raspberry Italian Sparkling Mineral Water that come in one-liter bottles. The complaint for this class action alleges that the labeling and marketing of the product lead consumers to think that the flavor of the mineral water comes from real lemons and raspberries, when it does not.

Whole Foods Lemon Raspberry Mineral Water Fruit Content Complaint

Case Event History

Whole Foods Lemon Raspberry Mineral Water Fruit Content Complaint

April 11, 2021

Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. makes a Whole Foods Market brand of Lemon Raspberry Italian Sparkling Mineral Water that come in one-liter bottles. The complaint for this class action alleges that the labeling and marketing of the product lead consumers to think that the flavor of the mineral water comes from real lemons and raspberries, when it does not.

Whole Foods Lemon Raspberry Mineral Water Fruit Content Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels