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Friendly's allegedly misleads consumers with vanilla claims on ice cream, suit states

Federal Court

By Carrie Bradon | Jul 26, 2019


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – A New York man alleges that a Massachusetts-based ice cream manufacturer misleadingly represents that its products are flavored with vanilla derived from vanilla beans.

Alan Charles and Jane Doe, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint on July 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Friendly’s Manufacturing and Retail LLC alleging violation of New York general business law, the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and other counts.

The defendant manufactures and sells vanilla ice cream under the Friendly's brand, including cakes, cartons, bars, cones and sandwiches. The suit states the front labels of the products contain representations that they are exclusively flavored from vanilla beans.

The plaintiffs allege that the vanilla flavor in the defendant’s goods does not come from real vanilla but from artificially and synthetically produced flavorings. The suit states the ingredient label lists "natural flavor" but do not identify vanilla extract or vanilla flavoring as the flavoring source.

They allege the defendant’s items are therefore misleading as they state that the flavor is vanilla, which would lead any consumer to understand that the flavor is derived from vanilla, when it is not. 

The plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief, monetary damages, costs and expenses. The plaintiffs are represented by Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates P.C. in Great Neck, New York.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York case number 1:19-CV-06571

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U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

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