Most of us understand we live in a high-tech world where fruit flavors aren’t always what they seem. You don’t need to pick seeds out of your teeth after chewing on strawberry gum. You don’t have to strain the pulp out of orange soda. But we also live in a very litigious society where the truth is always just a multi-million dollar lawsuit away. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that someone has sued Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for not using real fruit in some of its fruit-flavored donuts. And let it be known that, yes, if you’ve been eating Krispy Kreme Glazed Raspberry doughnuts to get your daily allowance of raspberries, that was not a good strategy.
According to court documents, plaintiff Jason Saidian and his legal team filed a class action lawsuit in US District Court in the Central District of California last week claiming that Krispy Kreme uses false advertising to sell its Chocolate Iced Raspberry Filled, Glazed Raspberry Filled, Maple Iced Glazed, Maple Bar and Glazed Blueberry Cake doughnuts, as well as its Glazed Blueberry Cake doughnut holes, because these products don’t actually contain any raspberries, maple syrup or blueberries in them. According to the filing, “had Plaintiff and other consumers known that the Products did not contain their Premium Ingredients, they would not have purchased the Products or would have paid significantly less for the Products. Therefore, Plaintiff and consumers have suffered injury in fact as a result of Defendant’s deceptive practices.” The suit seeks monetary compensation in excess of $5,000,000.
As needless as the suit may sound, certain parts of its claim may hit on actual problems. For instance, though Glazed Blueberry doughnuts allegedly use imitation blueberries known as blueberry gumbits, which “are made from inferior and potentially harmful ingredients such as corn syrup, Blue #2, and Blue #1,” Krispy Kreme’s Strawberry Filled donuts are made with real strawberries. And yet, these products are labeled in a similar way in store displays – which could indeed cause some confusion over which products use real fruit and which do not.
However, as Eater points out, the lawsuit drifts into some arguably absurd territory as well, claiming that, by not using real blueberries, raspberries and maple syrup, Krispy Kreme is also robbing customers of the health benefits of these ingredients. “Research suggests that blueberries are one of the richest sources of antioxidant phytonutrients,” the suit states at one point. Perhaps the plaintiff should have thought of that before choosing to consume blueberries surrounded by fried dough.