Whole Foods is facing a proposed class action lawsuit that claims the grocery chain’s 365 Organic brand of vanilla almond milk products do not contain as much real vanilla as represented on their packaging.
Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. has been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit in which a New York man claims the grocery chain’s 365 Organic brand of vanilla almond milk products do not contain as much real vanilla as represented on their packaging.
Targeting the defendant’s 32- and 64-ounce Vanilla and Unsweetened Vanilla varieties of almond milk, the 23-page complaint alleges buyers who view the references to real vanilla on the products’ front labels would reasonably expect the beverages to contain “a sufficient amount” of vanilla flavoring or vanilla extract derived from real vanilla beans.
Within the products’ ingredients list, however, Whole Foods states either “Organic Natural Flavors” or “Natural Flavors” before noting the presence of “Organic Vanilla Extract,” which the case argues indicates that the products contain more non-vanilla natural flavors than real vanilla.
According to the suit, the almond milk products’ front labels are misleading to consumers because there is no indication of the presence of non-vanilla flavoring. The case charges that the defendant is able to charge a premium price for the 365 Organic brand of vanilla almond milk products by effectively exploiting consumers’ false beliefs that they are purchasing a product predominantly flavored with real vanilla.
“Without proportionally conspicuous disclosure of a product’s vanilla and vanillin components, consumers would pay more money for products that may taste like vanilla even though the taste is not derived from vanilla beans,” the complaint states.