Campbell Soup Company is staring down a proposed class action filed by two consumers who say the company’s claims that no preservatives are added to its soups are false and misleading. According to the 30-page complaint, Campbell Soup Company “wrongfully capitalizes on and reaps enormous profits” by claiming its products are “Made with Patience, Not Preservatives,” especially knowing that consumers prefer products free of synthetic ingredients such as citric and/or ascorbic acid.
“[The defendant] violates statutes enacted in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia that are designed to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive, fraudulent, unconscionable trade/business practices, and false advertising,” the lawsuit alleges.
The plaintiffs, California and New York residents, argue they would not have paid as much as they did for the defendant’s soup had they known they were “receiving an inferior product with preservatives instead of what had been advertised.” From the complaint:
“By representing that the Products have ‘No Preservatives,’ [the defendant] seeks to capitalize on consumers’ preference for less processed foods with fewer additives and the association between such products and a wholesome way of life. Consumers are willing to pay more for less processed products with no additives because of this association, as well as the perceived higher quality, health, and safety benefits associated with products labeled as being free of preservatives.”