I know it's hard to think about, but what if Canada Dry ginger ale isn't actually "made from real ginger?!"
@CBSNews https://t.co/fKTC6R6vI9— Geraldine Sim (@Geraldine Sim) 1533082731.0
Julie Fletcher from Bolivar, New York is filing a class-action lawsuit against Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, the creators of Canada Dry, for misleading advertising.
A woman is suing Canada Dry cause there’s no ginger in the ingredients and this is in the lawsuit. LAWSUIT. I can’t… https://t.co/T2Ry8qU5oU— Sarah Colonna (@Sarah Colonna) 1533047877.0
Fletcher claims she often bought the ginger ale as "a healthier alternative to regular sodas," thinking the natural ginger root in its recipe would help calm her children's upset stomaches. According to the lawsuit, she discovered some upsetting information:
But Canada Dry's ginger flavor extract is not 'real ginger' as reasonable consumers understand that term. It is manufactured in a lab using various chemicals and extraction processes.
@CBSNews What about the lack of Ale!?!— Mairead (@Mairead) 1533026902.0
Fletcher would often purchase 2-liter bottles of the drink for her children, influenced by the ale's marketing campaign, which focused on its inclusion of natural ginger:
Ms. Fletcher knew that ginger root can calm an upset stomach, and she often purchased Canada Dry for her children were sick, believing that the ginger root in the beverage would soothe their stomach aches.
@theblaze I just found out they don't put real orange, grape or cherry juice in soda. Fixing to get paid!— Jack Buckwalter (@Jack Buckwalter) 1533075942.0
It turns out Canada Dry contains "some ginger compounds," but not many. Only about two parts per million. The suit also calls out the beverage's claim of containing "100% natural flavors," even though it's filled with "high fructose corn syrup, citric acid [and] preservatives."
@NYDailyNews She's not wrong. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯— ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@¯\_(ツ)_/¯) 1533026268.0
Fletcher has no issue with a drink with or without these ingredients...but if an entire drink's brand is built around it's natural ginger, it better have some! Aside from the "made from real ginger" label on the front of every can, Canada Dry's television commercials also feature farm workers pulling up real ginger, while a voiceover intones "real ginger, real taste."
The lawsuit draws a connection between Canada Dry's misleading claims about being a "healthier option" and its success:
Within six months of adding the claim, Canada Dry sales skyrocketed by almost 9 percent, and continued to increase every year thereafter – even with sales of regular sodas continuing to decline.
@CBSNews I might do the same because it says "Dry" but when i drink it, it feels wet.— CRYPTO-LIFE (@CRYPTO-LIFE) 1532985143.0
DPSG's own marketing team has bragged in the past about Canada Dry's sales being bolstered by public perception of it being a "healthier option."
Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states: Missouri, Massachusetts, and California. DPSG has continued to claim their drinks contain real ginger, even when tests cannot detect any. The company claims ginger is one of the ingredients that make up its "natural flavorings" listed in the ingredients.
@sarahcolonna Ohhhh I’m totally suing lucky charms...been eating those things my whole life and I’ve got the worst luck— Dusty Reed (@Dusty Reed) 1533049024.0
It's clear many Twitter users aren't on Fletcher's side, but she's not wrong. Buying a drink because you're made to think it's a healthier option only to find out that's not true is not a good feeling, and it reflects pretty badly on the company too.
One of these days, Canada Dry, you WILL be found out and held accountable for your lies. The truth always comes out.