Court Finds "Original Formula" Soda Marketing Not Deceptive

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois

The Coca-Cola Company faced a lawsuit alleging that the marketing of its Coca-Cola Classic was deceptive under the Illinois consumer protection statute.  The plaintiffs argued that the company could not represent its soda as "original formula" because it had switched out table sugar in favor of high-fructose corn syrup and sought class certification.

Representing Coca-Cola, Shook, Hardy & Bacon attorneys moved for summary judgment, arguing that the named plaintiffs' purchasing behavior had not changed when they learned of the high-fructose corn syrup content.  Shook attorneys showed the Illinois federal court that one plaintiff knew of the substitution at least a decade prior to bringing a lawsuit, and another plaintiff had admitted in a deposition that he had never noticed the "original formula" phrase in Coca-Cola's marketing.  Accordingly, the court found that the plaintiffs were not injured by the alleged misrepresentation and granted Shook's motion for summary judgment in favor of Coca-Cola. Kremers v. Coca-Cola Co., 712 F. Supp. 2d 759 (S.D. Ill. 2010).