If you're a kombucha fan who regularly shops at Whole Foods, you could be part of a very large class action lawsuit. The mega market chain was recently ordered to pay up to $8.25 million to shoppers who bought the GT brand kombucha products between March 11, 2011 and February 27, 2017.
When you think about it, that's an awful lot of skoby. The lawsuit came about after consumers realized that Millennium Products Inc. - the company that makes GT kombucha - and Whole Foods Inc. knowingly mislabeled the products by labeling them non-alcoholic. This is key because Whole Foods cannot legally sell alcoholic beverages.
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Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. The live cultures and fermentation result in alcohol creation. While the amounts of booze present in a bottled product may be minimal, they do exist and there is enough to make it mandatory to label.
Defendants also alleged that the fermentation that occurs in the bottle created so much carbon dioxide buildup that they are dangerous to open.
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The kombucha products covered by this class action settlement include the following products:
Classic Kombucha: Original, Citrus Gingerade, Multi-Green, Third Eye Chai
Classic Synergy: Cosmic Cranberry, Maqui Berry Mint, Divine Grape, Gingerberry Raspberry Rush, Strawberry Serenity, Superfruits, Trilogy
Enlightened Kombucha: Botanic No. 3, Botanic No. 7, Botanic No. 9, Citrus, Gingerade, Multi-Green, Original
Enlightened Synergy: Black Chia, Cosmic Cranberry, Cherry Chia, Gingerberry, Grape Chia, Green Chia, Guava Goddess, Mystic Mango, Passionberry Bliss, Raspberry Chia, Strawberry Serenity, Trilogy
How to File a Claim
If you believe you are one of the customers who bought a mislabeled bottle of kombucha from Whole Foods during the specified time period, file a claim by May 30, 2017 to receive a potential reimbursement award of up to $60.
Spread the word far and wide to your friends and family who might've purchased said GT brand kombucha.