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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday Morning FYI: Crunchberries are not Fruit.

If you are lazin' around this Saturday morning, feeling virtuous because you are eating Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries and getting a serving of fruit in your bowl, then you have a problem. Actually, you may have more than one problem, but definitely a problem with thinking a Crunchberry is a fruit. It is not, and there is now a legal opinion confirming this point.

In a suit filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, the Plaintiff claimed that the packaging and marketing of Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries misled her into thinking that the product contains real, nutritious fruit. Defendant moved to dismiss, and that motion was recently granted.

In dismissing the Plaintiff's claims concerning deceptive practices and advertising, the Court wrote:

While the challenged packaging contains the word "berries" it does so only in conjunction with the descriptive term "crunch." This Court is not aware of, nor has Plaintiff alleged the existence of, any actual fruit referred to as a "crunchberry."

Furthermore, the "Crunchberries" depicted on the [Product's principal display panel ("PDP"), the panel of the cereal box facing consumers as they shop in a store aisle] are round, crunchy, brightly-colored cereal balls, and the PDP clearly states both that the Product contains "sweetened corn & oat cereal" and that the cereal is "enlarged to show texture." Thus, a reasonable consumer would not be deceived into believing that the Product in the instant case contained a fruit that does not exist. (emphasis supplied).
Not only would no "reasonable consumer" - the standard for analyzing the Plaintiff's claims - be duped into thinking that a Crunchberry was fruit, but the Court noted that the Plaintiff even conceded that "'[c]lose inspection reveals that Crunchberries on the PDP are not really berries.'"

Delivering the coup de grace, the Court ruled that Plaintiff is not allowed to file an amended complaint: "The survival of the instant claim would require this Court to ignore all concepts of personal responsibility and common sense. The Court has no intention of allowing that to happen."

Read all of Sugawara v. Pepsico, Inc. here.

And to be complete: Froot Loops? Also not fruit. McKinnis v. Kellogg USA, 2007 WL 4766060 (C.D. Cal. 2007).

And the man himself, Cap'n Crunch? Well, I'm sorry to tell you this, but . . .

(Via Slashfood)

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