A class action lawsuit claims that Hain Celestial Group’s Rice Dream label is misleading as the rice milk contains no vanilla.
Plaintiff Janet Kyszenia says that Hain’s rice beverages are labeled as “Vanilla,” “Classic,” “99% Fat Free,” “Rice Dream,” “Rice Drink” and “Easy to Digest.”
However, the use of the word vanilla is deceptive because the product contains ingredients that are not derived from the vanilla bean.
The plaintiff argues that the consumption of non-dairy milks has proliferated as consumers are avoiding the use of animal products due to health, ethical reasons, dietary goals, and food allergies.
The most prominent milk alternatives are rice, soybeans, and almonds but rice is the most preferred because it is the least allergenic of the three, alleges the plaintiff.
One – two percent of vanillin in use today is derived from the vanilla plant, which means that vanillin does not have any connection to the vanilla bean, declares the class action lawsuit.
“The most persistent challenger to the authenticity of real vanilla has been synthetic versions of its main flavor component, vanillin,” the plaintiff asserts.
In addition, the Rice Dream class action lawsuit argues that if a product is represented as being characterized by vanilla but contains non-vanilla vanillin, it must declare vanillin as an artificial flavor.
The plaintiff notes that “natural vanillin” is not a “natural vanilla flavor” because the raw material is not vanilla beans, but ferulic acid and eugenol.
By labeling a product as containing “vanilla,” this gives the consumer the impression that the entire flavor is contributed by the characterizing food ingredient of vanilla beans, the plaintiff alleges.
“The representations are misleading because though the front label designates the Product as ‘Vanilla,’ the ingredient list identifies ‘Natural Vanilla Flavor With Other Natural Flavors,” the Rice Dream class action lawsuit states.
Kyszenia says that if “Other Natural Flavors” contain vanillin which does not come from actual vanilla, it cannot be appointed as “natural flavors” and that the artificial flavor must be disclosed on the front label of the product.
The plaintiff also argues that the branding of the packaging of Hain’s rice product is designed to mislead and defraud consumers.
If Kyszenia would have known that the rice beverage did not contain real vanilla derived from the vanilla bean, she would have paid less for the product or would not have purchased the product at all, the plaintiff states in her class action lawsuit.
“As a result of the false and misleading labeling, the Product is sold at a premium price, approximately no less than $4.59 per unit, excluding tax, compared to other similar products represented in a non-misleading way,” the Rice Dream class action lawsuit claims.
Did you purchase Hain’s rice beverage thinking it contained real vanilla? Leave a message in the comments section below.
The plaintiff is represented by Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates PC and Michael R. Reese of Reese LLP.
The Vanilla Rice Milk Class Action Lawsuit is Janet Kyszenia v. The Hain Celestial Group Inc., Case No. 1:20-cv-00979, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Top Class Actions is a Proud Member of the American Bar Association
LEGAL INFORMATION IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE
©2008 – 2020 Top Class Actions® LLC
Various Trademarks held by their respective owners
This website is not intended for viewing or usage by European Union citizens.
Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.