Companies that distribute services and products throughout the United States have a responsibility to make sure that their labelling and advertisement of products is accurate and in line with what the product can truly provide. That’s the allegation behind a new Annie’s False advertising lawsuit.
Annie’s False Advertising Lawsuit Targets “Natural” Salad Dressings
General Mills Inc. and Annie’s Homegrown Inc. were hit with a proposed class action lawsuit arguing that they have deceptively marketed their salad dressings with labels stipulating that the products are natural even though synthetic ingredients are included.
An Alabama resident is the lead plaintiff in the case and argued that the products are inappropriately marketed as natural even though they contain xanthan gum, a thickening agent that is a synthetic ingredient. Allegedly the salad dressing bottles included the word ‘natural’ and indicated that there were no synthetic colors, artificial flavors or synthetic preservatives but the plaintiff later learned that the products were not all natural because they contained xanthan gum.
Bacteria are fermented with sucrose, glucose or lactose in order to produce the thickening agent in a commercial manufacturing setting. U.S. regulators, according to the Annie’s false advertising lawsuit, name xanthan gum as a synthetic substance.
The basis of the Annie’s false advertising lawsuit is that the manufacturers misled consumers to believe they were purchasing a non-synthetic and natural product, and that by using a label with the word ‘natural’ on it the product encourages consumers to pay a premium price over other products without really understanding what is inside.
A separate proposed Annie’s false advertising class action lawsuit was filed earlier this month alleging misbranding, false advertising and deceptive marketing regarding their lineup of Organic Fruit Snacks that plaintiffs claim do not contain any strawberries.
What Is False Advertising?
False advertising refers to statements made by the manufacturer that are misleading, untrue, or confusing when it comes to marketing a product.
The purpose behind consumer and advertising laws has been to promote truth in labeling such that consumers know what they are purchasing and can make informed decisions about what products do and do not include or purport to do. In general, false advertising lawsuits can encompass several different types of behaviors, all of which are illegal.
Some examples of false advertising include hidden surcharges or fees, marketing “going out of business” sales for products that were already reduced in price, and labels that do not make it clear what’s inside the product.
If you have recently discovered that a product you purchased does not have an accurate label and that the misleading label enticed you to purchase the item, talking to a lawyer may be your next step. While the Annie’s false advertising lawsuit is just one example, all kinds of products may be named in a false advertising lawsuit.
If you have been the victim of false advertising, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit with the help of an attorney. The lawyers at Bradley/Grombacher are committed to holding companies accountable when false advertising has occurred. Fill out the form on this page now for a FREE case evaluation.