Beyond Meat Sued for Misrepresenting Its Patties’ Protein Content

A consumer filed a class-action complaint against defendant Beyond Meat, Inc. on Friday in the Southern District of California alleging that the defendant “engaged in widespread false and deceptive conduct” when it misrepresented the protein content of its meat substitute products.

Beyond Meat, who is known for its plant-based meat substitute products, allegedly claims that its products provide equal or superior protein when compared to real meat. The plaintiff claims that this is false because two separate laboratories have conducted testing on the defendant’s products and in both cases the testing revealed that “Beyond Meat products contain significantly less protein than what is stated on the product packaging.”

According to the complaint, the plaintiff purchased the defendant’s products in January of 2020. The packaging of the defendant’s Beyond Burger Plant-Based Patties indicated that the product contained 20 grams of plant protein per serving and had a daily protein value of 40%.

The complaint notes that despite the labeling, the defendant’s patties only had 18 grams of protein and a daily protein value of 35%. The plaintiff asserts that if she had known that the labeling of the patties was false, she would not have purchased the product.

The defendant is required by law to use the Protein Digestibility Amino Acid Corrected Score (PDCAAS) as a way of calculating the protein measures that are represented on the label. The complaint posits that Beyond Meat used a less-sophisticated method to calculate the figures, which resulted in its stated protein amount and protein daily value percentage being false and misleading. The plaintiff also argues that Beyond Meat had full knowledge of the inaccuracies of the labeling since “it is routine practice in the food industry to regularly test products to confirm the accuracy of nutrition labeling.”

The complaint cites a violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the California Unfair Competition Law and unjust enrichment.

The plaintiff seeks class certification, favorable judgment on each count, compensatory and punitive damages, prejudgment interest, restitution, equitable, monetary, and injunctive relief, litigation fees, and a trial by jury.

The plaintiff is represented by Bursor & Fisher, P.A.