A plaintiff has alleged that he was misled by the packaging on Sara Lee Frozen Bakery’s All Butter Pound Cake because he believed butter to be the only shortening ingredient when the cake actually contained soybean oil as well. Briley v. Sara Lee Frozen Bakery LLC, No. 20-7276 (S.D.N.Y., filed September 4, 2020). The complaint asserts, “Where a food is labeled as ‘Butter _____’ or uses the word ‘butter’ in conjunction with the food name, reasonable consumers will expect all of the shortening ingredient to be butter,” which the plaintiff argues that consumers prefer to other shortening ingredients because they avoid “highly processed artificial substitutes for butter.” The plaintiff alleges fraud, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment along with alleged violations of New York’s consumer-protection statutes and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

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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.