Just days after a lawsuit was filed over the apparent absence of real vanilla (and the apparent inadequate disclosure of such) in Dove ice cream bars, a new case claims Dannon vanilla yogurts are plagued with the same issue.
According to the lawsuit, certain Dannon products—specifically, the vanilla variety of the lowfat, whole milk, and Oikos Triple Zero yogurts—contain much less naturally derived vanilla flavor than their labels suggest. Each yogurt is labeled as “vanilla with other natural flavors” (WONF), yet the lawsuit argues that the characterizing vanilla flavor in the products is actually derived from artificial sources.
“By using the term ‘Vanilla WONF’ as opposed to one of the standardized and required designations, the Products omit informing consumers of the presence of the artificial flavor, vanillin and instead are presented with the more desirable term, ‘natural flavor,’” the complaint states.
Vanillin, the lawsuit attests, is misleadingly characterized by defendant Danone North America, LLC as a “natural flavor” because it can be produced from natural sources other than vanilla beans through the process of fermentation. Calling the flavor “natural,” however, is deceptive to consumers, the case says, because it suggests that the vanilla in the yogurt comes from real vanilla beans when it is instead derived from artificial vanillin.
The lawsuit argues that the defendant’s deceptive labeling has caused consumers to pay a premium price for an inferior product that they would not have otherwise purchased.