Kraft Dodges Suit Over ‘No Preservatives’ Capri Sun Label (subscription to Law360 required)

  • A proposed class action, filed in the Northern District of Illinois on October 25, 2018, against Kraft Heinz Food Co. accused the company of falsely advertising its Capri Sun juice as containing “no preservatives” when in fact it contains citric acid. Tarzian et al v. Kraft Heinz Food Company, Case No. 1:18-cv-07148. The complaint alleged that the representation that Capri Sun beverages contain “No Artificial Coloring, Flavors, or Preservatives” is unfair and deceptive advertising as the beverages contain a well-known preservative, citric acid.
  • In an order filed on October 10, 2019, U.S. District Judge Charles P. Kocoras dismissed the lawsuit and found that while the plaintiffs allege practices commonly used to manufacture citric acid throughout the industry, plaintiffs failed to draw a connection between the common industry practice and the actual practice used by Kraft.
  • This dismissal follows a dismissal of a similar matter in California federal court in 2015. Osborne v. Kraft Heinz Group, Inc., Case No. 3:15-cv-02653. In that case, plaintiffs accused Kraft of mislabeling Capri Sun drinks as “all natural” when they allegedly contained synthetic ingredients, including citric acid and natural flavor. In a hearing on the defendant’s motion to dismiss, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria found that plaintiff did not know whether the citric acid used in Capri Sun’s drinks was natural or synthetic. The judge ultimately granted Kraft Heinz’s motion to dismiss with leave to amend the complaint. The plaintiff never filed an amended complaint.