Smucker Sued Over '100 Percent Fruit'

LOS ANGELES - A California woman has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the J.M. Smucker Co. claiming that its label, "Simply 100 percent fruit," is misleading since its spreadable jam is less than half fruit, Reuters reports.

The case was filed on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of anyone who bought the Smucker premium brand in the past four years.

Lead plaintiff Stephanie Schwebel, described as having a "sensitive palate," contacted the office of attorney Allan Sigal after tasting the jam. Sigal said he tested it and found she was right.

The company had no immediate comment.

Tests on "simply 100 percent" strawberry jam revealed that the spread contained less than 30 percent actual strawberries and the blueberry version contained just 43 percent berries, the lawsuit said.

Smucker's "100 percent fruit" claims run afoul of state false advertising and deceptive practice laws, as well as federal food labeling regulations, the lawsuit said.

The Los Angeles case follows a similar action filed last month in Wisconsin, in which a man cited a recent analysis by the Center for Science in the Public Interest that put the all-fruit claim in question. Consumers in that case also are requesting class action status.

Sigal anticipates that "thousands" of customers could expect to be refunded at least a dollar or so if the lawsuit prevails, or the company could be forced to contribute to a charity, he said.

"They have been advertising this for years," Sigal said. "Everybody who paid more for this fruit product was gypped and they shouldn't have paid more for it."
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