A federal judge dismissed a class action brought by consumers claiming they were misled to believe that Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries breakfast cereal contained nutritional value derived from real fruit, calling the suit “nonsense.”

This was the third lawsuit against PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats Company claiming that Crunch Berries’ packaging deceives consumers and makes false advertising claims.

In his complaint, plaintiff Roy Werbel alleged that “the colorful Crunch Berries on the [cereal box], combined with the ‘berry’ in the product name, conveys only one message: that Cap’n Crunch has some nutritional value derived from fruit.”

However, U.S. District Court Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong disagreed. “It is obvious from the product packaging that no reasonable consumer would believe that Cap’n Crunch derives any nutritional value from berries. As an initial matter, the term ‘Berries’ is not used alone, but always is preceded by the word ‘Crunch,’ to form the term, ‘Crunch Berries.’ The image of the Crunch Berries…shows four cereal balls with a rough, textured surface in hues of deep purple, teal, chartreuse green, and bright red. These cereal balls do not even remotely resemble any naturally occurring fruit of any kind,” she wrote.

The judge also noted that there were no representations on the product packaging that the Crunch Berries were derived from real fruit, nor were there any depictions of any fruit on the cereal box. “[T]here is simply nothing in the Cap’n Crunch packaging that would lead a reasonable consumer to believe that the brightly colored cereal balls depicted on the product cover and described as Crunch Berries are, in fact, made or derived from real berries or fruit,” the court said, dismissing the suit.

To read the complaint in Werbel v. PepsiCo, click here.

To read the order dismissing the case, click here.

Why it matters: This was the third lawsuit filed by the same law firm claiming consumers were misled by the product packaging on Crunch Berries cereal, and the third dismissal. While Cap’n Crunch has avoided walking the plank, food manufacturers should remember to ensure they use accurate descriptions of their products and do not mislead the reasonable consumer.