Bai Fruit Drinks Class Action Says Beverages Aren’t All-Natural

Bai Brands LLC is facing a proposed consumer class action lawsuit challenging the beverage maker’s claims it fruit-flavored drinks are all-natural.

Plaintiff Kevin Branca filed the Bai fruit drinks class action lawsuit in California federal court last month, claiming that Bai labels its drinks, including its’ Bai Antioxidant Infusion Brasilia Blueberry, Bai Antioxidant Infusion Ipanema Pomegranate, Bai Antioxidant Infusion Malawi Mango beverages and more, as containing only natural fruits and juices when they actually contain artificial flavors.

According to the 27-page complaint, the product labeling on Bai beverage products shows fresh berries and/or fruit, implying to the consumer that the drinks consist of and are flavored with only natural juices and fruit flavors. However, all of the Bai fruit drinks contain a synthetic chemical flavoring compound known as “malic acid.” Malic acid is a chemical that makes manufactured food products taste like fresh fruit – like blueberries, mangos, or cherries, for example.

Branca contends that because the Bai fruit drinks contain malic acid, the beverage maker is required under California law and federal statutes to disclose those additional flavors on the front label. Instead, Bai chooses to mislead consumers that their fruit drinks are flavored only by natural fruit juices.

FDA regulations and California law establish that if the labeling or advertising of a food product “makes any direct or indirect representations with respect to the primary recognizable flavors by word, depiction of a fruit, or other means” then, “such flavor shall be the characterizing flavor.” Additionally, under the law, the “presence or absence of any charactering ingredient” must be in boldface print on the front display panel of the product’s package and must be of sufficient size for an average consumer to notice it.

Basically, since “Blueberry”, “Mango”, “Cherry”, and other fruits the Bai fruit drinks are named and labeled as on the front packaging, they are considered “characterizing flavors” under California and federal regulations and therefore Bai is breaking the law by not including the fact they their drinks contain an artificial flavoring ingredient on their product’s front label.

Branca says he and other consumers were duped into pay $1.99 per drink or in some cases $19.99 for a variety pack of Bai fruit drinks, believing the products to be free of artificial flavoring. Instead, the fruit drinks purchased and consumed were falsely advertised. He contends that he and other consumers would not have purchased Bai fruit drinks had they known the true nature of the ingredients.

Branca is seeking to represent a nationwide class of consumers who purchased Bai fruit drinks on or after January 2012 as well as a California subclass. Among a request for monetary damages, Branca is asking the court to order Bai Brands to re-label all existing Bai drinks and conduct a corrective advertising campaign to inform consumers about the true nature of ingredients of their Bai fruit drinks.

Branca is represented by Ronald A. Marron and Michael T. Houchin of Law Offices of Ronald A. Marron.

The Bai Fruit Drinks False Advertising Class Action Lawsuit is Branca v. Bai Brands LLC, Case No. 3:18-cv-00757-BEN-KSC, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

V8 Splash Class Action Lawsuit Says Fruit Juice is Nothing But Sugar Water

Campbell Soup Company is facing allegations that it falsely advertised its V8 Splash juice beverages and healthy and natural, when according to a consumer class action lawsuit, they actually contain “massive amounts of refined sugar.”

Many consumers seek out natural food products and are willing to pay a lot more for these products when compared to food and beverages that are artificially flavored. Plaintiff Hortense Sims is one such consumer and was surprised to learn that the V8 Splash she purchased on multiple occasions since 2014 wasn’t as healthy as she was led to believe.

In order to hold Campbell accountable for allegedly falsely advertising its juice drink, Sims filed the V8 Splash class action lawsuit earlier this month in California federal court. She asserts claims that the juices are misbranded and falsely convey to the consumer that they are healthy, natural beverages brimming with healthful fruit and vegetable juices. This, Sims contends, is not the case at all and that Campbell’s is actually selling artificially-flavored sugar water labeled as if it were fruit juice.

According to the 28-page complaint, V8 Splash drinks, including “Berry Blend” and “Strawberry Kiwi” actually consist of 95 percent water and high fructose corn syrup with minimal amounts of reconstituted carrot juice added for color and texture, and 2 percent or less of all fruits and berries the drinks are named for combined.

For instance, the “Tropical Blend” V8 Splash drink contains 18 grams of sugar per serving – more than Grape Kool-Aid. Additionally, the V8 Splash class action lawsuit says that Campbell’s covers up the near-absence of actual fruit juice in the beverages by adding in artificial flavoring and then concealing this fact from consumers.

“Defendants’ packaging, labeling, and advertising scheme is intended to give consumers the impression that they are buying a premium, ‘all natural’ product with natural flavoring ingredients instead of a product that is artificially flavored,” the V8 Splash class action lawsuit states.

Sims goes on to point out that V8 Splash is advertised as a good source of Antioxidant Vitamins A and C. However, the amount of refined sugar in V8 Splash actually depleted the body of antioxidants and blocks vitamin and mineral absorptions and healthful benefits.

Sims is seeking to represent a proposed Class of all California consumers who purchased V8 Splash drinks in California on or after January 1, 2012 for personal use. She is asking the court to award restitution and punitive damages and order Campbell Soup Company to conduct corrective advertising and stop its deceptive advertising of V8 Splash.

Sims and the proposed Class are represented by Ronald A. Marron and Michael T. Houchin of the Law Offices of Ronald A. Marron.

The V8 Splash False Advertising Class Action Lawsuit is Hortense Sims v. Campbell Soup Company, et al., Case No. 5:18-cv-00668, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.