A proposed class action lawsuit alleges Beyond Better Foods, LLC’s Enlightened brand of “light ice cream” is misleadingly mislabeled because the product includes ingredients derived from non-dairy sources “meant to simulate the effects of fat in ice cream.” Echoing a casefiled last year against Halo Top, the complaint alleges the product’s labeling as “low fat ice cream” is deceptive in that consumers “expect ice cream to be a dairy product and possess attributes of such a product.”
Deviations from the standard ingredients of ice cream—milkfat, sweeteners—notwithstanding, the crux of the lawsuit concerns both the Enlightened product’s labeling and whether consumers may be misled into believing the product is a dairy product. According to the lawsuit, the defendant’s packaging and use of non-dairy ingredients meant to simulate the effects of fat in ice cream fundamentally change the product in such a way that “reasonable consumers receive a product that does not conform to their expectations.”
The complaint sticks on the defendant’s prominent use of the phrase “The Good-For-You Ice Cream” on Enlightened labels, which the plaintiff argues is misleading because the product is actually low-fat or “light ice cream.” From the suit:
“The ‘low fat ice cream’ and ‘light ice cream’ identity statements are misleading because they are not one of the principal features on the front label, not in bold type, are not in a size reasonably related to the most prominent text on the front label and are not in a line generally parallel to the base of the package.”
The case argues that the defendant’s use of “light” or “low fat” to describe the product is a “relative claim” that compares the caloric or fat content of the food to a reference product and should therefore be stated “immediately adjacent” to the most prominent claim on the label.
“The purpose of these requirements is to prevent consumers from being deceived as to what they are purchasing,” the complaint reads.
At the end of the day, the case argues, Beyond Better Foods’ promotion of its Enlightened product as “ice cream” without adequately distinguishing its differences from traditional ice cream leave consumers unaware that they’re purchasing “a purported modified ice cream product.”