(WSVN) - A California woman is suing the makers of Jelly Belly jelly beans, claiming the candy company’s “fancy phrasing” tricked her into believing the snacks did not contain sugar.
Fox News reports that Jessica Gomez purchased Jelly Belly’s Sport Beans, which are marketed as an exercise supplement containing electrolytes, vitamins, and carbohydrates. Gomez claims the label lists “evaporated cane juice” instead of sugar as an ingredient.
Gomez filed the class action suit, saying the wording was in violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Business Practices Law, and False Advertising Law, and intentionally deceives health-conscious consumers.
Jelly Belly filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, calling the case “nonsense.”
“No reasonable consumer could have been deceived by Sport Beans’ labeling – Gomez could not have seen ‘evaporated cane juice’ without also seeing the product’s sugar content on its Nutrition Facts panel,” the company stated.
However, the Food and Drug Administration last year issued guidelines that said the word “juice” should not be used unless referring to a fruit or vegetable.
While not an actual law, the FDA’s guidelines state, “The FDA encourages firms that market sugar cane-derived sweeteners or products that contain a sugar cane-derived sweetener to review the final guidance and consider whether their labeling terminology accurately describes the basic nature and characterizing properties of the sweetener used.”
Jelly Belly nevertheless argues that the case should be thrown out, stating, “Plaintiff does not explain why an athlete —or anyone— would be surprised to find sugar in a product described as ‘Jelly Beans.'”
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