A California federal court has decertified a class and granted
partial summary judgment in an action alleging Kraft Foods Group
falsely advertised its fat­-free cheddar cheese as “natural.” Morales
v. Kraft Foods Grp., No. 14-­4387 (C.D. Cal, order entered June 9,
2017). Details on previous decisions in the case appear in Issues
570 and 625 of this Update.

The court first granted summary judgment for Kraft as to
restitution because the plaintiffs failed to provide sufficient
evidence about their potential willingness to pay a premium based
on the “natural cheese” label and therefore could not establish a
basis for calculating restitution for the class.

Turning to the issue of whether the consumers’ belief that the
cheese was “natural” was material to their purchasing decisions,
the court determined that the plaintiffs’ expert testimony created
a triable issue of fact that could not be dismissed during the
summary-­judgment phase. Denying that portion of the motion for
summary judgment, the court requested briefs on whether the
class should be recertified to pursue injunctive relief.


Issue 638

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.