A California woman is alleging that Yogi Green Tea Kombucha is falsely marketed by East West Tea Company as containing organic kombucha.
Lead plaintiff Sydney Cohen alleges in the Yogi Green Tea Kombucha class action lawsuit that the product is advertised as containing “Organic Kombucha”; however, contends that plaintiff, the processing of the fermented drink makes it impossible for any kombucha — let a lone organic kombucha — to be contained in the final product.
“A typical Kombucha beverage is prepared by brewing tea, adding sugar, bacteria, and yeast, and fermenting the mixture, which results in the production of live bacteria cultures, commonly referred to as ‘probiotics’,” alleges the class action lawsuit. “Kombucha unequivocally contains live cultures.”
But, according to the Yogi Green Tea Kombucha lawsuit, the product is sold as tea bags that cannot contain kombucha. “[K]ombucha is not a tea leaf — rather, it is the end result of fermenting brewed tea comprised of live organisms created as a result of the fermentation process,” alleges the plaintiff. “Thus, it cannot be dried and stuffed into a tea bag, as Defendant suggests through the marketing and sale of its Kombucha Products”
“[A]lternatively, [Yogi Green Tea Kombucha] is pasteurized, resulting in the destruction of any potential probiotic value once heated and prepared for consumption,” alleges the plaintiff.
Similar allegations were raised in a class action lawsuit against the makers of KeVita Kombucha, which plaintiffs allege is falsely marketed as containing live probiotics despite the fact that the drink is pasteurized before sale.
The Yogi Green Tea Kombucha class action lawsuit alleges that East West Tea Company, located in Oregon, is trying to capitalize on an increase in demand for the fizzy, fermented drink.
“The recent spike in consumer fascination for this fermented beverage, called ‘kombucha,’ is due to its innate characteristic that it contains live, beneficial bacteria and cultures. The ‘good kind’ of bacteria that is produced during the fermentation process, commonly referred to as probiotics, is associated with providing the purported health benefits, such as improved digestion, a boosted immune system, and overall supported health. Consumers purchase kombucha in hopes that they will receive the positive health attributes associated with the probiotic brew.”
According to the class action lawsuit, East West Tea Company sells regular and decaf Yogi Green Tea Kombucha at a variety of retailers, including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Walmart, Target, and Amazon. The plaintiff alleges that kombucha goes for up to $5.00 a bottle.
The plaintiff seeks to represent a class of California consumers who purchased Yogi Green Tea Kombucha. The plaintiff says that she and other members of the class paid a premium for the tea bags based on the alleged false advertising that they contained kombucha.
The plaintiff alleges that East West Tea violated California consumer protection and advertising laws and also breached warranties made to customers about the Yogi Green Tea Kombucha. The plaintiff is seeking damages for herself and the class who purchased the kombucha as well as a court order requiring the company to correct the alleged false advertising.
The Yogi Green Tea Kombucha Class Action Lawsuit is Sydney Cohen v. East West Tea Company, LLC, Case No. 17-cv-2339-JLS-BLM, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California.
The attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher are investigating claims of false advertising. If you think you’ve been duped into spending money on a product based on false advertising, fill out the form on this page for a FREE case evaluation.
Plaintiffs in this lawsuit were not represented by the attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher.