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Krispy Kreme Sued for Misleading Customers Into Thinking Doughnuts Contain Fruit

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Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 6.08.06 PMA Los Angeles resident is suing Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. in federal court in California for false advertising. Specifically, plaintiff Jason Saidian claimed that the doughnut company’s blueberry, raspberry, and maple filled doughnuts don’t actually contain fruit or maple. Saidian bought the doughnuts at issue in 2015.

Krispy Kreme, which is based in North Carolina, has not responded to the complaint. The suit includes 10 allegations and seeks national class-action status. Saidian likely chose to file suit in California because the state sets a low bar for establishing violations of the business and professional code, breach of contract, and false advertising. Saidian is specifically suing under California’s False Advertising law.

Saidian is requesting a whopping $5 million in damages, in addition to disgorging the company’s profits. The lawsuit focuses on doughnuts sold for $1.09 per doughnut and $8.99 per dozen.

The lawsuit claims that unbeknownst to consumers, the doughnuts at issue–glazed raspberry filled, chocolate iced raspberry filled, maple bar, maple ice glazed, donut hole, and glazed blueberry cake–do not contain any real fruit or maple. By contrast, the company’s lemon doughnuts are made with real lemon, its apple cinnamon doughnuts contain apples, and its strawberry doughnuts contain strawberries. This fact renders the lack of maple, raspberries, and blueberries in those doughnuts particularly misleading. Making matters worse, the lawsuit claims, Krispy Kreme’s Blueberry Cake doughnuts are studded with imitation blueberries. What’s more, Saidian alleges, “no ingredients list is provided or available to customers in-store.”

The suit alleges that Saidian purchased the raspberry doughnut because raspberries are high in potassium, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and fiber. They additionally help protect against cancer, age-related illness, and heart disease.

The plaintiff also listed other possible health benefits from blueberry and maple. For example, blueberries are a rich source of fiber, potassium, folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content. Maple is high in antioxidants and minerals, fights against inflammatory diseases, and may protect against cancer and aging.

Instead of containing these healthful ingredients, the doughnuts instead contain “nutritionally inferior ingredients,” including sugar, corn syrup, gum, and artificial coloring. According to the lawsuit, if Saidian had known that the products did not contain the ingredients advertised (raspberry, maple, and blueberry), he would not have purchased the products or would have paid less for them. For these reasons, the plaintiff argued that he suffered a loss of money as a result of Krispy Kreme’s practices. Saidian’s attorney assured that the “lawsuit is not about whether the doughnuts are healthy or not.”

Eater implied the lawsuit is frivolous, sardonically commenting:  “Newsflash: No one buys doughnuts because they think they’re healthy; they buy them because they’re delicious, sugar and calorie content be damned.”

Krispy Kreme has failed to comment on the litigation.

Business litigation attorney James G. Schwartz has advocated on behalf of Bay Area businesses and business owners for the past 40 years. Contact us online or at (925) 463-1073 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a member of our knowledgeable and experienced team.

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