A consumer has filed a putative class action alleging Tipp Distributors Inc. mislabels its Steaz iced tea as “lightly sweetened” despite containing “objectively high amounts of sugar, as added sugar.” Taylor v. Tipp Distrib. Inc., No. 20-0712 (E.D.N.Y., filed February 9, 2020). Consumers paid a premium for Steaz believing it to contain less sugar than its competitors, the complaint asserts, but it contains 20 grams of added sugar, 40% of the recommended daily intake.

“By consuming the Products and the 40% DV of added sugar, the average person who wishes to follow the DGA must consume no more than 30 grams of sugar across 1,920 calories (2,000 calories – 80 calories),” the plaintiff argues. “It will be difficult to impossible for the average, reasonable consumer to not consume more than 30 grams of sugar in everything else they eat or drink because many foods and beverages have added sugars, albeit in much smaller amounts than the Products here. Given that most Americans have limited numeracy skills, it is not feasible to ensure no more than 30 grams of sugar are consumed, because this would entail detailed calculations after each food to see how many calories and added grams of sugar they should take in.”

The plaintiff alleges violations of New York consumer-protection statutes and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and seeks class certification, injunctive relief, damages 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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