Country Time Powder Doesn't Make as Much Lemonade as Promised, Lawsuit Alleges

Country Time's label clearly states "makes 8 quarts." A lawsuit alleges that's not the case.

Class action lawsuits may occasionally feel frivolous — and sometimes they are — but at their core, they're intended to serve a purpose: to keep companies honest. A new lawsuit filed against Kraft Heinz hopes to do just that, alleging that their Country Time canisters do not produce as much lemonade as advertised.

In the 27-page complaint, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, local plaintiff DeMarcus Rodgers, represented by Gathings Law, claims that 19-ounce canisters of Country Time lemonade and pink lemonade are falsely labeled because they do not contain enough powder to actually produce eight quarts of lemonade as advertised on the packaging. The proposed class action lawsuit alleges that, when following the instructions on the label, customers instead get a mere six quarts of drink.

The filing itself doesn't delve deeply into how Rodgers arrived at the six quart claim. "Plaintiff began noticing that the lemonade and pink lemonade tasted diluted," court documents state. "Plaintiff further noticed that when measuring the powder drink mix, he was only able to measure six quarts worth of powder drink mix instead of the usual eight quarts worth of powder drink mix per cannister."

Lemonade in a pitcher and glass
Rafa Elias / Getty Images

The suit explains that, for quantities of a quart or more, customers are supposed to use the canister's lid as a measuring cup — meaning Country Time not only controls the amount of powder provided but also how it's measured.

Looking at Country Time's own website, the math is arguably a bit fuzzy. The brand promises that a canister makes "about 21 servings," with each serving making 12 fluid ounces. That estimate only gets us to 7.875 quarts. And crunching the numbers in grams of actual powder, each serving is defined as 26 grams with the package labeled as containing 538 grams of mix, which comes out to a slightly scant 20.7 servings.

And yet, even the filing admits that the instructions state "Add more or less to taste." So making Country Time lemonade isn't an exact science, especially when handling dry measures in tablespoons as the single serving instructions call for. But how much wiggle room does Country Time have with all of this? And is there actually enough powder in a canister to begin with? We may find out in a court of law.

For its own part, Kraft Heinz is holding fast. "We are aware of the lawsuit, but believe it lacks any merit. We will strongly defend against the allegations," a spokesperson told us in an emailed statement.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff is seeking "equitable relief, declaratory judgment, restitution and alternative damages, for a Class of similarly situated United States purchasers."

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