Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. is being sued for false advertising in federal court, accused of selling blueberry, maple and raspberry-filled doughnuts that don’t contain any real fruit or maple syrup.
The lawsuit was filed Nov. 9 in the Central District of California by a law firm — Faruqi & Faruqi LLP — that specializes in consumer class-action cases.
The Winston-Salem company has not filed a response to the complaint by Jason Saidian, which contains 10 allegations. Krispy Kreme declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
Saidian is a resident of Los Angeles County who bought the doughnuts in 2015.
What moves the lawsuit from being considered as potentially frivolous is that California law has a low bar for proving violations of business and professions code as well as false advertising and breach of contract. The complaint also seeks national class-action status.
The plaintiff is requesting at least $5 million in damages as well as disgorging of profits made from the products.
Krispy Kreme typically sells its variety doughnuts for $1.09 apiece and $8.99 for a dozen.
The lawsuit is focused on Krispy Kreme’s chocolate iced raspberry filled, glazed raspberry filled, maple iced glazed, maple bar, glazed blueberry cake and donut holes. Those items are sold in its doughnut shops.
Saidian’s attorneys said that “unbeknownst to consumers,” those items “uniformly do not contain any” of the premium flavoring ingredients.
The lawsuit claims Krispy Kreme shops do not provide an ingredient list for its doughnuts. The lawsuit claims Saidian purchased the raspberry doughnut because raspberries “are a rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium and dietary fiber ... and help fight against cancer, heart and circulatory disease, and age-related decline.”
The attorneys cited other potential health benefits from premium maple and blueberry ingredients.
Instead, the complaint says the doughnuts contain “nutritionally inferior ingredients, such as sugar and corn syrup, along with gums and artificial food coloring used to mimic the texture, shape and color of the premium ingredients.”
“Had the 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,” according to the lawsuit.
“Therefore, plaintiff and consumers have suffered injury in fact ... and lost money ... as a result of defendant’s deceptive practices.”
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