On August 19, 2016, a California resident represented by lawyers on the East and West coasts filed a class action lawsuit against EN-R-G Foods, LLC. The company manufactures and distributes Honey Stinger Gluten Free Organic Maple Waffle, an energy food popular with marathoners, triathletes, and other endurance athletes.
The lawsuit alleges that the organic maple waffle does not actually contain any maple and is, therefore, falsely advertised and mislabeled in violation of California and Federal law. The class action seeks damages as well as an injunction to stop the company from falsely advertising the product as containing maple.
Nutritionists consider maple syrup a healthier alternative to sugar, corn syrup, or other mass-produced sweeteners. Maple is an artisanal food product with a rich history tied to the preservation of New England forests and local, small-scaled agriculture. The production of authentic maple syrup requires forest land, the correct climate conditions, and arduous physical labor.
Maple syrup is an icon of New England agriculture and forestry and its local economy. Therefore, it is no surprise that companies want to use the word “maple” on their mass-produced food products to give consumers a false impression of enhanced value and quality.
False advertising doesn’t only have a negative impact on consumers. It hurts maple producers by creating unfair competition. Authentic maple producers cannot compete against mass-marketers that seek to enhance their market share by “claiming” maple at the expense of consumers and maple farmers.
Consumers who have purchased the Honey Stinger maple waffle product are able to participate in the class action by contacting class counsel.