Last month, a class-action lawsuit was filed in federal court alleging that Kind, LLC (“Kind”) deceptively advertises certain Kind bars and fruit packets. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that Kind uses images of fruit on its products, and employs fruit sounding names, when the products do not contain whole fruit (e.g., the product containing mango, apple and chia is branded as the “mango apple bar” and its packaging includes images of mango slices and a whole apple). According to the complaint, the naming conventions and imagery communicates that the products are manufactured from start to finish directly from whole fruit ingredients; that the ingredients are not processed; and that the ingredients are fresher and healthier because they contain whole fruit. Plaintiffs seek preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to correct the alleged deceptive practices, and over Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000) in monetary damages.
TAKEAWAY: Class action attorneys are increasingly reviewing product packaging for consumer packaged food products. In addition to complying with Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) requirements, advertisers should be aware that naming conventions and imagery may give rise to a complaint pursuant to federal and state laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive acts and practices.