A California woman is suing the makers of Jelly Belly jelly beans, claiming she was tricked into believing one of the company's candy products was free of sugar.
The plaintiff, Jessica Gomez of San Bernadino County, first brought the case against the candy company earlier this year, blaming "fancy phrasing" for her confusion over the ingredients, according to Legal News Line.
Gomez purchased Jelly Belly’s Sport Beans, a product marketed as an exercise supplement containing carbohydrates, electrolytes and vitamins, which lists "evaporated cane juice" on the label instead of citing sugar as an ingredient.
In the class action suit, Gomez claims the wording on the label is in violation of state's Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Business Practices Law and False Advertising Law and is designed to intentionally deceive the health-conscious consumers being targeted by Sport Beans, Forbes reports.
Jelly Belly called the case "nonsense," as stated in an April motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing, “No reasonable consumer could have been deceived by Sport Beans’ labeling – Gomez could not have seen ‘evaporated cane juice’ without also seeing the product’s sugar content on its Nutrition Facts panel."
But Gomez seems to have the Food and Drug administration on her side.
The guidelines, though not law, state that "The FDA encourages firms that market sugar cane-derived sweeteners or products that contain a sugar cane-derived sweetener to review the final guidance and consider whether their labeling terminology accurately describes the basic nature and characterizing properties of the sweetener used."
But Jelly Belly, which is headquartered in Fairfield, Calif., is still arguing that the case should be thrown out for a number of reasons, primarily because "Plaintiff does not explain why an athlete—or anyone—would be surprised to find sugar in a product described as 'Jelly Beans'."