Consumer Law

Judge Tosses Suit Claiming Crunchberry Deception by Cap’n Crunch

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Cap’n Crunch is not a real person, and his cereal’s crunchberries aren’t real fruit.

A consumer who claimed to have been misled, but only about the crunchberries’ nutritional message, has seen her lawsuit tossed by a federal judge in California.

Plaintiff Janine Sugawara had claimed she was deceived by the cereal’s marketing and by packaging showing the Cap’n himself “thrusting a spoonful of ‘crunchberries’ at the prospective buyer,” the blog Lowering the Bar reports. The message, she claimed, was that the cereal was not all sugar and starch, but also contained redeeming fruit.

U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. of Sacramento dismissed the suit in a May 21 opinion (PDF posted by Lowering the Bar). England found that that a reasonable consumer would not have been deceived by the packaging. The cereal box makes no claim to be particularly nutritious, nor does it contain any images of actual fruit, he said.

“This court is not aware of, nor has plaintiff alleged the existence of, any actual fruit referred to as a ‘crunchberry,’ ” England wrote. “So far as this court has been made aware, there is no such fruit growing in the wild or occurring naturally in any part of the world.”

Hat tip to Overlawyered.

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