The Northern District of California recently dismissed a Plaintiff’s claim that the term “vanilla” was misleading on the label of a soymilk product, but left the proverbial door open for the filing of an amended pleading.
In Clark v. Westbrae Natural, Inc., Case No. 20-cv-03221, Plaintiff alleged that Defendant’s use of the word “vanilla” on the label of its organic unsweetened soymilk misrepresented to consumers that the product’s vanilla flavor was derived exclusively from the vanilla bean plant. Gas chromatography‒mass spectrometry analyses showed that the flavor came from a non-vanilla source. Plaintiff alleged he would not have purchased the product had he realized the flavor was not derived from the vanilla bean, and asserted claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and Consumers Legal Remedies Act. He argued that the product should be labeled “artificially flavored.”