Earlier this week, Melanie McDermott filed a class action suit against General Mills Sales, Inc in the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff is alleging false representation of the defendant’s product; in this case, Fruit Gushers.
The defendant is a multinational corporation that produces consumer foods for the general population. They have been sued multiple times this week for similar food-related advertising violations, such as a suit over the cheese content in their pizza rolls.
The complaint states that the representations of the defendant’s product were “false, deceptive, and misleading, because the product contains artificial flavoring ingredients.”
The allegedly misleading advertisements contain phrases such as “Flavored With Other Natural Flavors,” “No Artificial Flavors,” and “Gelatin Free.”
Natural flavors, according to federal regulation and cited by the plaintiff, are defined as “essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents.”
The plaintiffs took specific issue with the stated presence of “Malic Acid”, which “contributes to the fruity, sweet and sour taste not just of these tropical fruits but of almost every other tropical fruit in the product.”
The plaintiffs contend that General Mills misled consumers by stating that the fruit snacks contained simply “Malic Acid,” rather than “DL-Malic Acid,” a variant of malic acid that the product truly contains. According to the plaintiff the “defendant is required to tell consumers if it used the artificial version of malic acid, instead of only using the generic name.”
The defendant is facing various counts including, consumer fraud and deceptive business practices, breaches of express warranty, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and unjust enrichment.
The plaintiff is being represented by Sheehan & Associates, P.C.