A California federal court has refused to dismiss a consumer’s putative
class action alleging Nature’s Way misrepresents its coconut oil as a
healthy alternative to butter, margarine and other cooking oils despite
containing higher levels of saturated fat. Hunter v. Nature’s Way Products,
No. 16-0532 (S.D. Cal., order entered August 12, 2016). The court
dismissed Nature’s Way’s argument that it was not making a nutrient
content claim, finding that a “Variety of Healthy Uses” phrase on the
label was near enough to “representations about ‘Non-hydrogenated; No
trans fat’ and claims regarding medium chain triglyceride content” to
plausibly suggest a nutrient content claim. The claim of misrepresentation
was plausibly pleaded as well, the court held, but granted Nature’s
Way’s motion to dismiss claims under California’s Unfair Competition
Law for lack of specificity. The court also refused to find standing to
pursue injunctive relief because the plaintiff was unlikely to purchase the
product again.


Issue 615

About The Author

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.