Two consumers have filed a putative class action alleging that Kraft Heinz Food Co. misleads consumers by marketing Capri Sun beverages as free of preservatives despite containing citric acid. Tarzian v. Kraft Heinz Food Co., No. 18-7148 (N.D. Ill., E. Div., filed October 25, 2018). “Citric acid serves as a preservative by functioning as an acidity regulator and acidulant,” the complaint alleges. “[W]hile citric acid can also be employed to impart taste, a greater quantity of it is required to impart taste than to preserve foods and beverages. The preservative effects of citric acid may be reduced at lower levels, but it will still be present. [] Thus, Defendant cannot argue that it includes citric acid in the Products merely to impart added taste, because the quantities required to impart taste are more than sufficient to function as preservatives.” For alleged violations of Illinois and New York consumer-protection statutes, the plaintiffs seek class certification, damages, injunctions, corrective advertising 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.