In a Order issued on May 21, 2009, a federal district court judge dismissed a class action lawsuit that, among other things, alleged that consumers had been defrauded by the makers of Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries because the "berries" were in fact brightly-colored cereal balls, and not actually fruit. (No, I am not making this up.) In its ruling, the judge stated:
" 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 [box] are round, crunchy, brightly-colored cereal balls, and the [box] 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. . . . So far as this Court has been made aware, there is no such fruit growing in the wild or occurring naturally in any part of the world."
Although I try to avoid needless lawyer-bashing, I think few would disagree that there is a great need for lawyer bashing in this case. And let’s just say,the food company deserved to win this one.
The entire ruling in Sugawara v. Pepsico, Inc., which definitely deserves to be read in full, can be found here: kevinunderhill.typepad.com/Documents/Opinions/Crunchberries.pdf