A New York federal court has granted Crystal Farms Refrigerated Distribution Co.’s motion to dismiss a putative class action alleging that the packaging of Diner’s Choice mashed potatoes misleads consumers by featuring “Made with Real Butter” on the front despite containing both butter and margarine. Reyes v. Crystal Farms Refrigerated Distrib. Co., No. 18-2250 (E.D.N.Y., entered July 26, 2019). The court dismissed the allegations relying on the “butter” representation because the statement “is not misleading. Defendant’s mashed potatoes contain butter. [] To the extent that including a label on a mashed-potatoes package indicating that the product is ‘made with real butter’ may create confusion as to whether the mashed potatoes also contain margarine, such confusion is sufficiently dispelled by the ingredients label on the back of the package, which states twice—and once in bold font set apart from the rest of the items listed in the ingredients label—that the product contains margarine.”

The court also dismissed allegations relying on a representation that the mashed potatoes are “made with fresh whole potatoes,” finding that the phrase “does not suggest that the mashed potatoes are themselves ‘fresh.’ … ‘[F]resh’ means unfrozen and uncooked. As Defendant notes [] and Plaintiff does not dispute, mashed potatoes cannot be ‘fresh’ because potatoes must be cooked before they are mashed.”

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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.