Arizona Beverages USA LLC and parent company Hornell Brewing Co. have been hit with a proposed class action that claims AriZona fruit snacks contain more sugar and less real fruit than consumers are led to expect.
According to the 45-page lawsuit in California, the front label on packages of AriZona’s Arnold Palmer Half & Half Fruit Snacks and Green Tea Fruit Snacks represent that the products are “Made with Real Fruit,” and that “Fruit Is Our First Ingredient.” Per the suit, these claims lead consumers to believe that the snacks are nutritious and healthier than similar products.
In truth, however, the fruit snacks are “devoid of real fruit” and contain sugar levels comparable to candy, the case alleges.
The suit contends that consumers—particularly the health-conscious consumers to whom AriZona’s “deceptive marketing campaign” is apparently targeted—have overpaid for the fruit snacks given they did not receive the “health-focused treats” they believed they were buying based on the defendant’s advertising.
“Thus, although Defendants market the Products as containing real fruit while being healthful and nutritious, they are devoid of the health benefits reasonable consumers associate with consuming real fruit,” the complaint contends.
The lawsuit claims that despite Arizona’s fruit-based representations, the Arnold Palmer and Green Tea fruit snacks contain even more sugar than treats that are not targeted toward health-focused consumers.
“The Products contain 15 grams of sugar in each serving which is the same amount of sugar as some popular candies,” the complaint relays.
Moreover, although the fruit snacks’ packaging claims that the first ingredient in the products is fruit, the lawsuit notes that the primary ingredient is actually “pear juice from fruit juice concentrate.”
“In other words, the first ingredient is merely added sugar that is nutritionally void,” the complaint states.
All told, the lawsuit argues that consumers would not have purchased the Arnold Palmer and Green Tea fruit snacks had they known the products were “merely sugar filled snacks masqueraded as health-focused treats containing real fruit and nutrition.”
The case looks to cover anyone who purchased the Arnold Palmer Half & Half Fruit Snacks, Green Tea Fruit Snacks or any other AriZona product that is “similarly deceptively marketed” in the U.S. within the applicable statute of limitations period.
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