$8M Kombucha Consumer Fraud Settlement Reached with Wholefoods and Millennium

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Santa Clara, CA: A proposed settlement has been reached in a consumer fraud class action lawsuit pending against Millennium Products Inc., and Wholefoods over allegations that the defendants misrepresented the alcohol, sugar, and antioxidant content of certain GT’s Kombucha products. Under the terms of the proposed deal, a fund of up to $8,250,000 will be established to pay claims for those who purchased one or more flavors of GT’s Classic Kombucha, GT’s Classic Synergy, GT’s Enlightened Kombucha, and GT’s Enlightened Synergy beverages.

Class members can receive up to $35 in cash or product vouchers without Proof of Purchase or up to $60 in cash or product vouchers with Proof of Purchase. To qualify, class members must have purchased one or more of the following beverages from March 11, 2011 through February 27, 2017:

Classic Kombucha: Original, Citrus, Gingerade, Multi-Green, Third Eye Chai;

Classic Synergy: Cosmic Cranberry, Maqui Berry Mint, Divine Grape, Gingerberry Raspberry Rush, Strawberry Serenity, Superfruits, Trilogy;

Enlightened Kombucha: Botanic No. 3, Botanic No. 7, Botanic No. 9, Citrus, Gingerade, Multi-Green, Original;

Enlightened Synergy: Black Chia, Cosmic Cranberry, Cherry Chia, Gingerberry, Grape Chia, Green Chia, Guava Goddess, Mystic Mango, Passionberry Bliss, Raspberry Chia, Strawberry Serenity, Trilogy

The class action alleged that Millennium mislabeled certain Kombucha products, stating the products were non-alcoholic despite containing more alcohol than is permitted in order to label them as non-alcoholic beverages; failing to include added sugar as an ingredient on the label even though the products allegedly contain added sugar; understating the amount of sugar included in the Kombucha products; and including the term “antioxidant” on the labels even though the Kombucha products do not actually contain antioxidants.

Whole Foods was named as a defendant in the kombucha class action lawsuit because the grocery chain allegedly violated the law by reselling the allegedly mislabeled GT’s Kombucha products.

The settlement agreement, if approved, would also see Millennium make labeling changes to address the issues alleged in the Kombucha class action lawsuit and to have samples of the products tested by a third-party laboratory to ensure they continue to comply with federal and state labeling standards.

The final hearing for settlement approval is scheduled for July, 2017. The case is Retta, et al. v. Millennium Products Inc., et al., Case No. 2:15-cv-01801-PSG-AJW, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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