The lawsuit alleges that Fireball Cinnamon mini bottles are “misleading” because they do not contain whiskey

The lawsuit alleges that Fireball Cinnamon mini bottles are “misleading” because they do not contain whiskey

  • Business
  • January 26, 2023
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Feuerball cinnamon fans be warned – the miniature bottles of the fiery drink you pick up at the convenience store don’t actually contain any whisky.

In fact, the drink is a malt drink that tastes like whiskey, much to the dismay of Anna Marquez – the Illinois woman who is suing the Sazerac Company, the maker of Fireball, for “misleading” packaging.

The class-action lawsuit filed by Marquez earlier this month alleges that the labeling on the small 99-cent bottles of Fireball Cinnamon looks deceptively similar to the labeling on bottles of its other product, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky.

According to the company’s website, Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey has 33% alcohol by volume, while Fireball Cinnamon is 16.5% alcohol by volume.

Lawsuit alleges Fireball Cinnamon are miniature bottles "misleading" because they contain no whiskey

Bottles of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and Fireball Cinnamon, both manufactured by the Sazerac Company. US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Customers “expected these little bottles to contain whiskey labeled ‘Fireball Cinnamon’ ‘was a slight error intended by the manufacturer,'” the suit reads. “In fact, consumers were buying from non-liquor stores'[was] no whiskey at all’, although the[ir] Labels are almost identical.”

The lawsuit alleges that while it is legal for the company to use the “Fireball” brand name for both beverages, federal and state laws prohibit it from creating a “misleading overall impression.”

In addition to similar labels, the lawsuit complains about the size of text on Fireball Cinnamon’s label describing its composition. The claim claims that the phrase “Malt Beverage With Natural Whiskey & Other Flavors and Carmel Color” was written in the “smallest allowable size.”

The lawsuit also states that the use of the term “natural whiskey” creates misunderstandings about the product.

“The use of the words ‘natural whiskey and other flavors’ is a clever idiom because consumers who make the effort to read this will see how ‘natural whiskey’ differs from ‘other flavors’,” the Legal action.

Customers “will think the product is a malted beverage with added (1) natural whiskey and (2) other flavors,” she added.

In other words, buyers may believe that natural whiskey is being added to the drink as a separate ingredient, rather than understanding that only “whisky flavors” are being added.

On the Fireball website, the company explains the difference between its whiskey and malt products.

“There are two main differences between the Fireball Cinnamon labels and the Fireball Whiskey label: Any package with Fireball ‘Cinnamon Whisky’ on the front label is our whiskey-based product,” explains the website. “Any product with Fireball ‘Cinnamon’ on the front label, without ‘whisky’, is either our malt or wine-based product.”

Although the lawsuit was filed solely by Marquez, it is said to cover anyone in Illinois, North Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Mississippi, Iowa, South Carolina, Kansas, Arkansas and Utah who purchased Fireball Cinnamon.

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