Whole Foods Market Inc. and Health-Ade LLC have agreed to pay $4 million to settle allegations that Health-Ade labels its kombucha as non-alcoholic despite containing “more alcohol than permitted for non-alcoholic beverages.” Bayol v. Health-Ade LLC, No. 18-1462 (N.D. Cal., filed March 15, 2019). Under the agreement, class members can receive $4 for each bottle of kombucha purchased, with a limit of 20 claims with proof of purchase and 10 without. Health-Ade also agreed to change its formula to better control the variability of alcohol and sugar content and update its labels to notify purchasers that “[d]ue to natural fermentation, there may be trace amounts of alcohol and small pieces of culture.”

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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.