Califia Farms’ vanilla almond milk has come under scrutiny in a proposed class action that claims the popular products do not contain as much vanilla as their labels represent.
According to the lawsuit, the front labels of Califia Farms’ “Vanilla” and “Unsweetened Vanilla” 48-ounce varieties of almond milk lead consumers to believe that the products are flavored with real vanilla derived exclusively from vanilla beans and present “in an amount sufficient to independently characterize the Products.”
Contrary to these representations, the beverages’ ingredients lists contain no mention of “vanilla,” the case says, and instead only indicate the presence of “natural flavors.” The lawsuit argues that “natural flavors” refers to a combination of flavors derived from real vanilla and “non-vanilla natural sources,” such as tree bark or lignin. The products’ representations regarding the presence of vanilla are therefore misleading, the case charges, as the almond milk beverages do not contain as much vanilla as the labels imply.
“Because the Products contain flavor not derived from the characterizing food ingredient of vanilla, their unqualified, prominent and conspicuous representation as ‘Vanilla’ and ‘Unsweetened Vanilla’ is false, deceptive and misleading,” the complaint states.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff and proposed class members would not have purchased the products, or would have paid less for them, had known the truth about the quality and quantity of vanilla in Califia Farms’ almond milk.