Friday, April 17, 2020

reasonable consumers wouldn't think Dunkin Donuts Angus Steak was intact piece of meat

Chen v. Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., No. 18-3087-cv, --- F.3d ----, 2020 WL 1522826 (2d Cir. Mar. 31, 2020)

Plaintiffs sued Dunkin for deceptively marketing the Angus Steak & Egg Breakfast Sandwich and the Angus Steak & Egg Wake-Up Wrap, alleging that Dunkin deceived consumers into believing that the Products contained an “intact” piece of meat when the products actually contained a ground beef patty with multiple additives. There wasn’t jurisdiction over the out of state plaintiffs’ claims, and no reasonable consumer would have been fooled under GBL §§ 349 and 350.

All three challenged ads “conclude with multiple zoomed-in images that clearly depict the ‘steak’ in the Products as a beef patty.” And “steak” doesn’t always mean a slice of meat;  it is also defined as “ground beef prepared for cooking or for serving in the manner of a steak” by the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, as in chopped steak, hamburger steak, and Salisbury steak.  In the context—the sandwiches cost less than $4 and less than $2 respectively, and they’re marketed as grab-and-go products that can be consumed in hand, without the need for a fork and knife—a reasonable consumer would not be misled into thinking she was purchasing an “unadulterated piece of meat.”

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