Woman Sues Jelly Belly After Finding Out Jelly Beans Contain Sugar
On today’s list of super strange legal battles, a California woman named Jessica Gomez has filed a class action lawsuit against popular jelly bean manufacturer Jelly Belly. She purchased one of their products, Jelly Belly’s Sport Beans, which the company advertises as an “exercise supplement.” The company marketed the beans as containing “carbohydrates, electrolytes, and vitamins.” One of the listed ingredients was “evaporated cane juice,” which is just another term for sugar. But Gomez claims that the fact that the beans contain sugar was not made clear, and has filed a class action suit alleging fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and product liability.
I have a lot of questions. Why would anyone want to eat jelly beans as an exercise supplement? Why would Jelly Belly try to break into the supplement market, of all things? How did Gomez not assume that there was sugar in a product that displayed its sugar content on the nutrition label? Did these weird jelly beans even taste good?
TIL Jelly Belly makes jelly beans… for sports. pic.twitter.com/FJgjiB6jrt
— danielle kefford (@quephird) September 10, 2016
Gomez claimed that by listing the sugar as “evaporated cane juice” instead of sugar, as well as the other advertising that went into marketing the beans, Jelly Belly misled consumers into thinking they were healthy. To be fair to Gomez, the FDA actually recommends that companies not list evaporated cane juice on ingredients lists for this exact reason, something that her lawyers are likely to cite if this case moves forward.
In a motion to dismiss the case, Jelly Belly argued that Gomez couldn’t have thought the beans were sugar-free because the amount of sugar per serving was clearly stated on the product’s nutrition label. The company called the lawsuit “nonsense.” The lawyers representing Jelly Belly also pointed out that the “Plaintiff also does not explain why an athlete–or anyone–would be surprised to find sugar in a product described as ‘Jelly Beans.'”