According to a Crystal Light class action, the beverage products do not live up to the “no artificial flavors” claim made on its packaging.
Plaintiff Robert Bryce Stewart III says he purchased several Crystal Light products regularly since 2017.
He argues that, when buying the products, he relied on representations that Crystal Light contained “no artificial flavors.”
These representations were allegedly displayed prominently on the product labeling, featuring “bolded lettering” and other styles which help the claims stand out to consumers.
Despite these prominent claims, Stewart argues that Crystal Light products do in fact contain artificial flavors. According to Stewart’s Crystal Light class action lawsuit, the products contain an artificial flavoring called malic acid. Malic acid is used to generate a sour, fruity or tart taste in food products.
There is a natural form of malic acid, referred to as “l-malic acid,” which is found in fruits and vegetables. However, there is also a synthetic version of the ingredient known as “dl-malic acid.” Unlike l-malic acid, dl-malic acid is reportedly manufactured from benzene or butane in petrochemical plants.
Stewart says the Crystal Light ingredient lists do not disclose which type of malic acid is used in the products, in order to conceal the use of synthetic ingredients.
“Defendants intentionally failed to disclose that the malic acid used in the Products are artificial ingredients,” the Crystal Light class action lawsuit states.
“A reasonable consumer understands Defendants’ claims that the Products contain no ‘artificial’ flavoring to mean that the flavoring is derived from a natural source.”
Stewart argues that he and other consumers would not have purchased the products or would have paid significantly less if they knew that the products contained artificial flavorings.
According to the Crystal Light class action, the product manufacturer knew this and intentionally deceived consumers in order to secure more profits.
The Crystal Light class action claims that several flavors are part of the allegedly false marketing including: Strawberry Pure, Tropical Blend Pure, Grape Pure, Mango Tangerine Pure, Blackberry Cherry Lime Liquid, Berry Sangria Liquid, Tropical Coconut Liquid, Mango Passion Fruit Liquid, Blueberry Raspberry Liquid, Peach Mango Green Tea, Raspberry Iced Tea, Peach Mango Green Tea; and Classic Orange On the Go.
Stewart seeks to represent a Class of consumers who purchased the Crystal Light products listed above since January 2013. He also seeks to represent two subclasses of the same consumers from New York or California, respectively.
Kraft Heinz, the manufacturer of Crystal Light products, has faced similar claims in the past. In December, another Crystal Light class action lawsuit was filed in California, alleging the use of artificial flavors despite opposite claims.
Do you purchase Crystal Light beverage products? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
Stewart and the proposed Class are represented by Reuben D. Nathan of Nathan & Associates APC.
The Crystal Light Class Action Lawsuit is Stewart v. The Kraft Heinz Company, et al., Case No. 2:20-cv-01209-VAP-JEM, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
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