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Two consumers are challenging Jamba Juice’s marketing practices which assert that its smoothies are healthy and contain whole fruits and vegetables, when in fact they contain more sugar and additives than a 12-ounce can of soda.

Jamba Juice markets it smoothie chains as a “healthful, active lifestyle brand . . . created . . . to inspire and simplify healthy living.” Consumers more and more are demanding healthy diet alternatives and Jamba Juice capitalizes on this consumer demand by advertising its smoothies as simple and nutritious.

But plaintiffs Teri Turner of California and David Lundquist of New York are taking Jamba Juice to task over their marketing practices, filing a false advertising class action lawsuit against the smoothie chain in California federal court Thursday.

Turner says she was a regular customer of Jamba Juice, purchasing a variety of smoothies, including Strawberry Surf Rider, believing the smoothies were comprised of whole fruits and vegetables and contained no additives and minimal sugar. Similarly, Lundquist purchased Jamba juice smoothies, including Apple ‘n Greens, Berry UpBeet, and Amazing Greens.

According to the Jamba Juice class action lawsuit, the smoothie chain claims, among other things, that their smoothies will “[r]ejuvenate your body with . . . healthy goodness” and “help you be the best version of yourself.” However, according to the complaint. Jamba Juice’s smoothies, however, do not contain the ingredients, nutritional profile, or health benefits as advertised. Instead Jamba Juice smoothies actually are made from juice blends from concentrate, sherbet, or other non-whole fruit and vegetable ingredients.

The Jamba Juice class action lawsuit calls attention to Jamba Juice’s in-store signage as a prime example of its deceptive advertising. The menu board indicates, for example, that Jamba Juice’s Caribbean Passion Smoothie contains five whole fruit ingredients: mango, strawberry, peach, orange, and passion fruit. But, in actuality, Caribbean Passion contains no whole mango, orange, or passion fruit., Caribbean Passion contains mostly pear juice from concentrate and white grape juice from concentrate as well as orange sherbet.

Additionally, Jamba Juice’s Amazing Greens smoothie is described on the menu board as a “high-impact nutrition” smoothie, and online as “blended, balanced cups of whole food nutrition [to] upgrade from grocery-getter to go-getter.” The name “Amazing Greens,” its green appearance, the large picture of kale in the image accompanying the product on the menu board, and other marketing implies that the smoothie is predominantly comprised of green vegetables. In fact, after kale, the second and third listed ingredients in Amazing Greens are Jamba Juice’s “Lemonade” and “Peach Juice Blend,” respectively. Those juices, in turn, are predominantly white grape juice and apple juice, respectively.

Both plaintiffs say they relied on Jamba Juice’s representations, including statements on the menu board, regarding the nutritional qualities, ingredients, and purported benefits of the smoothies but were actually duped as the smoothies reportedly contain 15 to 30 teaspoons of total sugars. To put this in perspective, a typical 12-ounce can of non-diet soda has approximately 10 teaspoons of total sugars. They are seeking to represent a California subclass and New York subclass of consumers who purchased Jamba Juice smoothies since August 24, 2012.

The plaintiffs are represented by Maia C. Kats and Matthew B. Simon of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Michael R. Reese and George V. Granade of Reese LLP.

The Jamba Juice Class Action Lawsuit is Teri Turner and David Lundquist v. Jamba Inc., et al., Case No. 3:18-cv-05168, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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