Two consumers have filed a projected class action against Arizona Canning Co. alleging that the image of a bowl full of beans on its Sun Vista products misleads consumers into believing the can is filled completely with beans rather than filled with some beans and a large amount of water. Beckman v. Ariz. Canning Co., No. 16-2792 (S.D. Cal., removed November 14, 2016).

The complaint asserts that the “picturesque” label image depicts “a bowl full of plump and hearty beans with glimmer of shine, and little to no water,” but when the can is opened, it reveals “the repulsive sight of bean water” and “an inappropriately large amount of water and a small amount of beans.” The complaint admits that a reasonable consumer “would expect to find some water within the container,” but one plaintiff’s “home investigation” apparently found that a 29-ounce can of pinto beans contained 13 ounces of beans and 16 ounces of water. “Water is used as a deceptive filler in Sun Vista Beans,” the plaintiffs argue. For alleged violations of California’s consumer-protection statutes, the plaintiffs seek class certification, an injunction, restitution and attorneys’ fees.


Issue 623

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.