A proposed class action lawsuit filed in a California federal court says that food company Annie’s Inc. falsely advertises, deceptively markets, and misbrands its products in order to encourage consumers to make a purchase.
The Annie’s false advertising lawsuit centers around Summer Strawberry Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks which apparently do not contain strawberries as an ingredient in the fruit snacks.
Lead plaintiff Raymond Alvandi states that he relied on the marketing of Annie when purchasing the snacks, and had he known that they didn’t actually contain strawberries, he would not have purchased the product.
“Defendant’s product is called ‘Fruit Snacks’ and ‘Summer Strawberry’ and defendant labels and markets its strawberry fruit snacks as containing ‘natural strawberry flavors’ and touts that they are ‘Made with Goodness!’” the Annie’s false advertising lawsuit states. “However, defendant’s strawberry fruit snacks do not contain any strawberries.”
Owned by General Mills, Annie’s has taken part in a marketing campaign that has been deceptively designed to dupe consumers by having them believe that the Summer Strawberry Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks are healthy and nutritious and actually contain strawberries based on the product labeling and consumer marketing, Alvandi alleged in the Annie’s false advertising lawsuit.
Alvandi stated that he purchased the strawberry fruit snacks a number of times, including from Amazon and from a Glendale, California Target store, among other locations. He states that prior to purchasing the snacks, he relied on the marketing and product label that suggested to him and other consumers that the strawberry fruit snacks were made with actual strawberries.
It wasn’t until later that Alvandi discovered that the ingredients in the Annie’s Summer Strawberry Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks which are listed as tapioca syrup, pear juice from concentrate, cane sugar, sunflower oil, and caranuba wax. Strawberries are not listed as an ingredient in the fruit snacks.
“’Strawberries’ are nowhere to be found in the nutrition facts. Indeed, the nutrition facts do not even list a strawberry byproduct such as strawberry juice made from concentrate,” the Annie’s false advertising lawsuit states.
The plaintiff states that claiming fruit snacks actually contain fruit when they don’t is a common practice among companies, and this has been discussed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Alvandi states.
Alvandi quotes commentary from the organization in the Annie’s false advertising lawsuit which states, “Unfortunately for parents and kids, phony fruit snacks don’t always contain the fruits advertised on the front of the box and never in the quantities suggested. Instead, companies use relatively cheap, nutritionally void and highly processed pear, apple, and white grape juices, making phony fruit snacks much closer to gummy bears than actual fruit.”
The proposed Class of consumers in the Annie’s false advertising lawsuit includes all U.S. residents who purchased Summer Strawberry Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks during the six-year class period.
On behalf of himself and others similarly situated, Avandi has raised allegations of breach of express warranty, unfair and deceptive acts and practices violating the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the California Business and Professions Code. He is seeking injunctive relief in order to prohibit the allegedly false and deceptive advertising as well as compensatory, statutory, treble and punitive damages.
The Annie’s False Advertising Lawsuit is Alvandi v. Annie’s Inc., Case No. 2:17-cv-05691, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Note: Bradley/Grombacher is not representing the plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit.