A Florida federal court has dismissed a case alleging that Campbell Soup Co. misleadingly labeled its V8 V-Fusion® Pomegranate Blueberry and Acai Mixed Berry products as “100% juice” in a way that implied they contained only the flavoring juices rather than a base mix of fruit and vegetable juices. Bell v. Campbell Soup Co., No. 14-291 (N.D. Fla., order entered December 11, 2014).

The plaintiff argued that the label was misleading because the “100% juice” statement appeared so close to the flavor name on the label, but after examining each labeling statement, the court disagreed. “[W]hen a product’s flavor comes from a juice that is not the primary ingredient, the name may include the flavoring juice, without including other juices, so long as the label includes the statement ‘that the named juice is present as a flavoring.’ [T]he flavor—in this instance pomegranate and blueberry—must be ‘followed by the word ‘flavored’ in letters not less than one-half the height of the letters in the name of the characterizing flavor.’” The plaintiff’s claims relied on Florida state law, but the court found that the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act preempted state law on the relevant points. Finding no valid claims, the court dismissed the case without leave to amend.


Issue 549

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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.