A California federal court has granted in part and denied in part a motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit alleging that Mott’s violated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) and California’s Sherman Law standards on the use of “no sugar added” on food packaging. Rahman v. Mott’s LLP, No. 13-3482 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., order entered October 14, 2014). The plaintiff alleged that Mott’s 100% Apple Juice included a “no sugar added” label but failed to follow the additional FDA regulations requiring “a statement that the food is not ‘low calorie’ or ‘calorie reduced’ (unless the food meets the requirement for a ‘low’ or ‘reduced calorie’ food) and that directs consumers’ attention to the nutrition panel for further information on sugar and calorie content.”

Mott’s moved for summary judgment on four grounds: the plaintiff (i) did not suffer damages as a result of purchasing the apple juice, (ii) lacked standing to seek injunctive relief, (iii) did not rely on the “No Sugar Added” label when choosing to purchase the product, and (iv) failed to show that the “No Sugar Added” label is misleading to a reasonable consumer. The court dismissed damages and that the issue of whether he relied on the label is a factual issue that cannot be decided by summary judgment. The court agreed with Mott’s that the plaintiff did not have standing for injunctive relief because he “cannot plausibly prove that he will, in the future, rely on the ‘No Sugar Added’ statement to his detriment.” Assessing the “reasonable consumer” standard, the court was not convinced by the plaintiff’s expert witness, a professor who testified to how he could determine that consumers relied on the “No Sugar Added” label to make health-related and purchasing decisions but had not actually conducted such a study. It then dismissed the plaintiff’s claims brought under California’s False Advertising Law, Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the fraud and unfair prongs of the Unfair Competition Law (UCL) as well as the claim of negligent misrepresentation, but allowed the claims brought under the unlawful prong of the UCL and breach of quasi-contract to continue. the first and third arguments, finding that the plaintiff had shown sufficient