Kroger Hit With False Ad Suit Over ‘Naturally Flavored’ Water (Law360 Subscription Required)

  • On November 28, a putative class action suit filed in Ohio federal court alleges that The Kroger Company misleads shoppers by falsely advertising that its sparkling waters are “naturally flavored,” despite adding malic acid derived from petrochemicals, which the plaintiff alleges imitates the characterizing flavor of the names fruit in its beverage products.
  • Plaintiff Cameron claims she bought the beverages at Kroger locations over the course of five years between 2016 and 2021 in Ohio and Tennessee after relying on the statements made on the products’ labels.
  • Kroger labels and advertises its sparkling waters as containing different characterizing flavors like strawberry, white grape, mixed berry, kiwi strawberry, blueberry pomegranate, black cherry and pineapple coconut. Plaintiff Cameron alleges that the characterizing flavors are not exclusively derived from the named fruit ingredients.
  • Plaintiff seeks several forms of relief on behalf of fellow shoppers over Kroger’s allegedly deceptive marketing practices, including a court order compelling the grocery giant to stop packaging, distributing, advertising and selling the products that it alleges are in violation of U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations.
  • The case is Mary Cathleen Cameron v. The Kroger Company, case number 1:22-cv-00694, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
  • Keller and Heckman will continue to monitor any developments in this case.