Class Action Lawsuit Claiming Goldfish Have Deceptive Labels Moved to Federal Court

On Tuesday, a class action lawsuit against Campbell Soup Company and Pepperidge Farm Inc. alleging that producers deceptively labeled Goldfish products with “0g sugars” was removed from the Alameda Superior Court to the Northern District of California.

The plaintiffs alleged that Goldfish snack products are deceptively labeled because the packaging claims that they contain “0g sugars” when in fact they are not “a low calorie food, not a reduced calorie food and not for weight control.” They argued that “the average consumer cannot … be expected to determine if a food is low calorie simply by looking at the calorie content.” 

The FDA requires that “low calorie” foods be less than 40 calories per the reference amount customarily consumed, which supposedly is not the case with the goldfish. The plaintiffs claimed that the false claims on the packaging made them believe that the Goldfish products were much healthier than advertised.

The defendants are seeking to move the case to the Northern District of California, arguing that removal is proper under the Class Action Fairness Act. This is because the class exceeds 100 members, the parties are minimally diverse, and the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $5 million. The defendants claimed that removal is timely since this notice was filed within 30 days of receiving the initial complaint.

The plaintiffs in their complaint included counts of violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, violation of California’s False Advertising Law, a violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, a violation of New York’s General Business Law, a violation of New York’s General Business Law, restitution based on quasi contract/unjust enrichment; and breach of express warranty.

The plaintiffs are represented by Feinstein Doyle Payne & Kravec, LLC, and Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP. Campbell Soup is represented by Mayer Brown LLP.