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Court Dismisses Lawsuit Over “Slightly Sweet” Tea

Court Dismisses Lawsuit Over “Slightly Sweet” Tea

Author: Patrick J. McNamaraDate: September 15, 2021

Coca-Cola Co. did not mislead consumers by labeling its Gold Peak iced tea as “slightly sweet,” according to a federal court judge. The court held in Mazella v. The Coca-Cola Co. that the plaintiff failed to plausibly allege that the term misleads consumers into believing the tea is low in sugar.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not define the term “low sugar.” However, the regulator has established conditions of use for “sugar-free” and “reduced/less sugar” nutrient content claims. Claims of “no added sugars” and “without added sugars” are allowed if no sugar or sugar-containing ingredient is added during processing. Meanwhile, “reduced” or “less sugar” claims are permitted on products containing at least 25% less sugar per reference amount customarily consumed than an appropriate reference food.

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