Bai Brands faces a potential class action alleging that it labels its Bai fruit-flavored beverages as containing “natural” ingredients but fails to disclose the inclusion of artificial malic acid. Branca v. Bai Brands, LLC, No. 18-0757 (S.D. Cal., filed April 19, 2018). The plaintiff alleges that the ingredient list is misleading because it contains only the generic term “malic acid” while the product contains artificial d-malic acid. According to the complaint, both forms add a “tart, fruity” flavor to food and drink products. The complaint further alleges that the products, which are named for fruits and fruit combinations, bear “pictorial representations” that “imply to the consumer by operation of law that the Products consist of and are flavored only with natural juices and fruit flavors.” Alleging violations of California consumer-protection statutes, breach of warranties, negligent misrepresentation and fraud by omission, the plaintiff seeks class certification, damages, 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.

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