Unhappy consumers of Muscle Milk have filed a lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer, Cytosport Inc., in California federal court. The class action, which could expand to include all who purchased the products over the past four years, alleges that the company engages in deceptive sales practices by overstating the Muscle Milk’s nutritional benefits on the protein supplement’s labels.
As detailed on Law360 (subscription required), the plaintiffs claim that Cytosport (now owned by Hormel Foods Corp.) violates numerous state and federal laws by misleading consumers about the presence of certain muscle-building nutrients in their drink products. The complaint states that Muscle Milk offerings target athletes and individuals seeking to lose weight with protein information on the packaging that cannot be substantiated through independent testing.
Cytosport is also accused of misleading consumers by advertising the products as containing the amino acid L-Glutamine, when in reality Muscle Milk doesn’t contain much of the substance at all. The plaintiffs further allege that representing Muscle Milk products as “lean” violates federal law as well as California, Florida, and Michigan statutes because the products do not contain any less fat than most competing products.
Cytosport has faced this same charge before; in 2013, it agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle a class action accusing the company of underestimating fat content in its products. In a separate lawsuit involving claims of false advertising, rival Global Beverage Enterprises Inc. is seeking to cancel seven Muscle Milk trademark registrations over the fact that Muscle Milk does not contain any actual milk.
Food mislabeling cases are on the rise. If you believe that a food manufacturer or other company has misrepresented its products or is misleading consumers, please contact the attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation Group today!