Product Liability & Toxics Law News

Enlightened Ice Cream Labels Misleading, Suit Says

Jan. 2, 2019, 5:39 PM

“Enlightened” frozen dairy desserts are deceptively marketed by producer Beyond Better Food LLC as light “ice cream” when they use corn fiber to replace fat, a new class suit alleges.

Although labeled “The Good-For-You Ice Cream,” the products contain maltodextrin, a soluble corn fiber, the suit against Beyond Better Food says.

The corn fiber renders the “ice cream” phrase deceptive because consumers expect ice cream to be a dairy product, New Yorker Romel Hightower says in a Jan. 1 suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Use of maltodextrin also goes against U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations that don’t allow the replacement of fat with non-dairy ingredients in ice cream-like foods, the suit says.

“Enlightened provides joy to ice cream lovers nationwide with feel-good ice cream that is full of delicious flavor,” the company told Bloomberg Law Jan. 2. “This is the first we’ve heard of this lawsuit. It has no merit, and we intend to defend our brand vigorously.”

The products are also deceptively marketed because the ingredient list describes erythritol, a processed sweetener, as “natural,” the complaint says.

Hightower spent $5.99 a pint for the Enlightened desserts, the complaint says.

Hightower seeks money damages and marketing changes on behalf of a New York class.

A similar suit against the maker of Halo Top frozen dessert was voluntarily dismissed.

Sheehan & Associates, P.C. and Levin-Epstein & Associates, P.C. represent the plaintiff.

The case is Hightower v. Beyond Better Foods, LLC, E.D.N.Y., No. 19-00004, 1/1/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Steinberg in Washington at jsteinberg@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com

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