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A California federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a San Diego woman who said she ate Cap’n Crunch cereal for years thinking “crunchberries” were real fruit.
Janine Sugawara sued General Mills, the maker of Cap’n Crunch, for fraud for claiming the colored balls of sugary cereal sprayed with strawberry juice concentrate were fruit. Sugawara only noticed the true nature of the cereal after eating it for four years, she claimed in her suit.
Judge Morrison England of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, however, dismissed Sugawara’s suit on May 21 and ruled that she had failed to prove her legal case against the Cap’n.
“A reasonable consumer would not be deceived into believing that the product in the instant case contained a fruit that does not exist,” the judge said in his ruling. “So far as this Court has been made aware, there is no such fruit growing in the wild or occurring naturally in any part of the world.”
The judge ruled that Sugawara’s suit, which had sought class-action status to seek damages on behalf of all others who were similarly tricked, had failed to establish that she relied on General Mills’ fraudulent claims in eating Cap’n Crunch thinking it contained real fruit.
“Plaintiff did not explain why she could not reasonably have figured this out at any point during the four years she alleged she bought Cap’n Crunch with Crunchberries in reliance on defendant’s fraud,” the judge said.
This was not the first time Sugawara had gone to court to challenge the contents of a classic American breakfast cereal. She previously filed a lawsuit claiming Froot Loops do not contain real fruit. That suit was similarly dismissed by the court.