California residents have filed a putative class action in federal court against a company that promotes its granola, cookie and trail mix products as “100% Pure and Natural,” despite making them with some purportedly synthetic ingredients. Thurston v. Bear Naked, Inc., No. 11-4678 (N.D. Cal., filed September 21, 2011). Seeking to represent a nationwide class of consumers, the plaintiffs allege that they would not have purchased the defendant’s products at a premium price if they had known that “synthetic ingredients were used in the product.” According to the complaint, the company’s products contain cocoa processed with alkali, glycerin and lecithin.

The plaintiffs allege unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business practices and
false advertising under California law; violation of the Consumers Legal
Remedies Act; and restitution based on quasi-contract/unjust enrichment.
They seek restitution, compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive relief,
attorney’s fees, costs, interest, and “[a]n order requiring an accounting for, and
imposition of, a constructive trust upon, all monies received by Bear Naked
as a result of the unfair, misleading, fraudulent and unlawful conduct alleged

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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.