Heineken sued for alcohol-free claims in beer containing 0.03% alcohol
A Louisiana woman sued Heineken USA for misleading consumers with its alcohol-free label of Heineken 0.0 which contains 0.03 percent alcohol.
The Louisiana Record showed that Heineken USA allegedly violated the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act, state consumer fraud acts, breaches of express warranty, implied warranty of merchantability, Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, as well as committed fraud, and unjust enrichment.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Louisiana pointed out that in Heineken 0.0's own FAQ page, the brand admits it contains “an extremely small amount of alcohol, maximum 0.03 percent ABV."
The plaintiff Kathleen M. Wilson argues that some who bought the beer don't want even this "minuscule amount of alcohol" and shouldn't be called "0.0" at all.
Wilson added that consumers should be fully informed of the ingredients in the product even if it contains less than .03 alcohol to give them the option to choose.
The plaintiff says she wanted a product with no alcohol and was misled by Heineken's "false and deceptive representation," which caused her to purchase their N/A beer; therefore, she has suffered damages.
Wilson asked for injunctive relief demanding that Heineken change its labeling of the product, monetary damages, and court costs.
On its website, the brand noted that 0.03 percent of ABV has the same or even lower alcohol level than other food products, such as bread, bakery products, juices, and bananas. This was due to the natural fermentation of ingredients, such as cereals and fruits.
Heineken pointed out that fermentation is a natural process, and minuscule alcohol levels can be found everywhere.
The website also insists that its Heineken 0.0 label and ingredient declaration do not violate local food laws and regulations.