A Massachusetts federal court has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that Post Consumer Brands misleads consumers by implying that Honey Bunches of Oats is primarily sweetened with honey rather than sugar, brown sugar and corn syrup. Lima v. Post Consumer Brands LLC, No. 18-12100 (D. Mass., entered August 13, 2019). Post argued that “honey” describes “one of the cereal’s primary recognizable flavors” in addition to being a sweetener. “Plaintiffs seemingly understand that honey is both a sweetener and a flavoring agent,” the court found, “yet they do not explain why they concluded that the word honey and the associated imagery necessarily meant that honey was the primary sweetener, rather than referring to the flavor of the cereal.” Further, the court found that the packaging “makes no objective representation about the amount of honey, leaving the cereal’s accurate list of ingredients as the only unambiguous representation of the amount of honey relative to other sweeteners.” Because the complaint was previously amended, the court granted the motion to dismiss without leave to amend.

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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.