Food Marketing

News & Analysis as of

Leaving a Tart Taste in One Processor’s Mouth: Court Dismisses Claims of a Plaintiff Subject to the Tart Cherry Order

Agricultural law can often be complicated, but it is not always this "tart." Burnette Foods, a tart cherry processor in Michigan, has found itself in an ironic position: it is subject to a law that was enacted with...more

Do Consumers Know Better? Chobani, Facing False-Advertising Suit, Thinks So

As with cigarettes like American Spirit and other products, consumers have been conscripted into the crux of a legal battle against a food manufacturer and its Greek yogurt. Yes, you, I and millions of other Americans who...more

When Natural Just Ain’t — Post Cereal Trying to Redefine “Natural”

What’s in a name? According to a trio of plaintiffs who in June 2016 sued cereal maker Post, a lot more than Shakespeare’s Juliet would have Romeo believe....more

GMO Disclosures and Claims: A Possible End to the U.S. GMO Labeling Controversy?

On July 7, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed an important amendment to S. 764 to establish a mandatory nationwide labeling approach for genetically engineered (GE) foods, more popularly referred to as genetically modified...more

Sugar Rush: FDA Rejects Use of “Evaporated Cane Juice” to Describe Sweeteners

For years, food companies have been using the term “evaporated cane juice” in the ingredients list on food products. This has resulted in a number of lawsuits by consumers claiming that the term misled them into thinking...more

Patenting the Quest for a More Perfect Veggie Burger

When a food synthesizer first appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series, I looked upon it with awe and wonder. Its workings were never explained; but entire meals would emerge from it magically. Swanson’s frozen TV dinners...more

Eat Your Art Out: Intellectual Property Protection for Food

Let’s face it, we live in a food-crazed world. Our current preoccupation with food has less to do with eating it; we also are fascinated with looking at it. Posting photos of food on Instagram is now a universal pastime. ...more

“KIND” of Nutritious—FDA Permits “Healthy” Label and Agrees to Rethink Its Definition of “Healthy” Foods

The Food and Drug Administration has kindly permitted Kind LLC to use the term “healthy” on its snack bars again, but with the caveat that the term must only be used in text clearly presented as part of Kind’s corporate...more

San Francisco vs. The Monster (aka Federal Regulation)

There is a lawyer we worked with at another firm who had a standard move, kind of the way that Jerry Seinfeld had a standard “move” – and, come to think of it, with a similar intention. (“The Move” shows up in “Fusilli...more

FDA takes Kind Approach to “Healthy” Corporate Philosophies

This month, FDA showed a willingness to catch up with the recent trends, advancements, and developments in the food and beverage industry by reconsidering years-old regulations regarding products labeled as...more

FDA Allows KIND to Use “Healthy” Claim on its Labels and Will Reevaluate “Healthy” Claims

On May 10, 2016, the FDA announced that Kind LLC may label its snack bars “healthy” so long as it’s clearly part of its “corporate philosophy” and not a nutritional statement. In conjunction with this statement, the FDA...more

Food for Thought: California Court Prevents Second Bite at the Yogurt - Torrent v. Yakult U.S.A., Inc., No. 8:15-cv-00124-CJC-JCG...

Plaintiff Nicolas Torrent filed a putative class action alleging yogurt drink manufacturer, Yakult U.S.A., Inc.’s marketing and advertising claims concerning digestive health benefits were false and deceptive. Plaintiff...more

Food for Thought: Ninth Circuit Reinstates 'Natural' Labeling Class Suit Against Hain Celestial - Balser v. The Hain Celestial...

The Ninth Circuit held that a consumer’s definition of “natural” as alleged in the complaint is sufficient for the court’s determination of the sufficiency of the pleading with respect to a motion to dismiss. In Balser,...more

Do the Restrictions on Advertising with Nutrition and Health Claims also Apply to Communications Addressed Exclusively to Health...

The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) will soon decide on the issue of whether the restrictions on promoting foodstuffs with nutrition and health claims also apply to communications addressed exclusively to health...more

Food Litigation Newsletter

RECENT SIGNIFICANT FILINGS - Courts Lift Stays After FDA Stalls in Giving Guidance on ECJ - Perera v. Pac. Foods of Or., Inc., No. 3:14-cv-2074 (N.D. Cal.): In this putative class action alleging violations of...more

Food and Beverage Law Update: January 2016

Key Issues Facing Food Retailers - Compliance and Cybersecurity: Consero Group surveyed the general counsel of Fortune 1,000 companies in June 2015 and learned that 60 percent still lack the proper preparation for a...more

Food Litigation Newsletter

This newsletter aims to keep those in the food industry up to speed on developments in food labeling and nutritional content litigation. RECENT SIGNIFICANT RULINGS - Court Rejects Class Settlement Bid in MSG Case...more

Food for Thought: Court Denies Food Manufacturer's Preemption Arguments

In McMahon v. Bumble Bee Foods, LLC, No. 14-cv-03346 (N.D. Ill. 2015), the plaintiff claimed that Bumble Bee engaged in deceptive conduct when it sold various seafood products with labels that indicated they were an...more

Locally Sourced, Pasture-Raised, Non-GMO, and coming soon . . . E. Coli Free!

Chipotle has certainly had a rough few weeks. With news of at least another 80 people sickened (apparently from a norovirus this time) after eating at a Boston area Chipotle (on top of at least 52 people in six states from E....more

California Supreme Court Holds That Federal Organic Food Labeling Regime Does Not Preempt Claims of “Intentional” Mislabeling

What’s the difference between claiming that a food product is improperly certified as organic and claiming that the producer was properly certified but the product isn’t really organic? A unanimous California Supreme Court...more

California Opens Courts to State Claims re: “Organic” Food

And the California Supreme Court said “Let there be more litigation” and there was more litigation. This week, the California Supreme Court held that private citizens (i.e. class action plaintiffs’ attorneys) can bring...more

Imitating MILANO Cookies? Pepperidge Farm Remembers.

When a company puts “DISTINCTIVE” on its own packaging, its usually a sign that it highly values its trade dress and product configuration rights. That’s certainly the case for Pepperidge Farm and its Milano cookies....more

Food for Thought: Organic Food Act Doesn't Preempt Certain State Law Mislabeling Claims

On December 3, the California Supreme Court unanimously held that state law claims of intentional mislabeling produce as organic are not preempted by the Organic Food Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6522). In Quesada v. Herb...more

Organic Label Due Diligence Is Critical After CA Supreme Court Approves Lawsuits

The Supreme Court of California ruled last week that consumers could assert claims under California consumer protection statutes for intentionally mislabeling products as “organic.” In a unanimous opinion, the court reversed...more

Quesada v. Herb Thyme Farms, Inc. The California Supreme Court Opens Up a New Front in the Food Wars

In a shot across the bow, the Supreme Court of California has put sellers of organic food products on notice that they may be subject to class action lawsuits for deceptive “organic” food labeling. Specifically, on December...more

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