A proposed class action alleges Kirk’s Natural LLC’s “South of France” beauty care products are misleadingly labeled in that the items come not from the South of France as consumers are led to believe but are instead made in Kentucky.
According to the case, consumers who view the labels on the defendant’s bar soap, hand wash, foaming hand wash, sugar polish and hand & body cream products are misled by the “South of France” name, French translations and image of the southern French coastline into believing the products were made in and imported from France. Instead, however, the beauty care products, unbeknownst to buyers, are made in Kentucky, rendering the label representations “false and misleading,” the suit alleges.
Per the complaint, Kirk’s Natural has “[sought] to cash in on the French reputation for beauty products” by leveraging references to France in order to charge a premium price that consumers would not otherwise have paid had they known the truth about the items’ origins.
“Defendant’s misrepresentations cause confusion among consumers, who believe they are purchasing beauty products imported from France, when, in fact, they are purchasing beauty products made in the United States,” the complaint alleges. “Plaintiff and the Class members reasonably relied to their detriment on Defendant’s misleading representations and omissions.”
The lawsuit states that consumers are generally willing to pay more for French beauty care products due to the country’s reputation for producing high-quality cosmetics. Moreover, the defendant’s customers are led to believe that the “South of France” products are more expensive than domestic beauty care items because of their purportedly French origins and the costs of importing the products across the Atlantic, the case alleges.
As a result of these misconceptions, Kurt’s Natural has been able to charge a premium price for the “South of France” products, and likely collected “millions of dollars” more in revenue than it would have otherwise earned, the lawsuit charges. From the complaint:
“Had Defendant not made the false, misleading, and deceptive representations and omissions, Plaintiff and the Class members would not have been willing to pay the same amount for the Products they purchased, and/or Plaintiff and the Class members would not have been willing to purchase the Products at all.”
The lawsuit looks to cover anyone who purchased Kirk’s Natural “South of France” products in New York at any time from September 3, 2018 to the date of class certification.
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