A consumer has filed a putative class action alleging that Dietz & Watson’s smoked gouda is not prepared by smoking but rather by the addition of a smoke flavor. Watson v. Dietz & Watson Inc., No. 20-6550 (S.D.N.Y., filed August 17, 2020). “No reasonable consumer would be instinctively distrustful or skeptical of a product labeled ‘Smoked Gouda’ such that they would be inclined to verify whether the ingredient list disclosed a ‘smoke flavor,'” the complaint asserts. “However, the Product’s smoked taste is provided by ‘Natural Smoke Flavoring’ instead of from being smoked, indicated in the small print on the ingredient list.” The plaintiff alleges violations of New York’s consumer-protection statute and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act as well as fraud, unjust enrichment and negligent misrepresentation, and she seeks class certification, injunctive relief, damages, costs and attorney’s fees.

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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.

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