A new suit claims King’s Hawaiian is misleading consumers about where their buns are made.
A new class action lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court charges King’s Hawaiian, a well-known baked goods brand, of defrauding consumers by creating the impression that their Hawaiian buns are still made in Hawaii when they are actually made in California.
“King’s Hawaiian is known as the most authentic supplier of its eponymous Hawaiian rolls,” said Long Island attorney Spencer Sheehan, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Yonkers man and others. “Unfortunately, they give consumers the impression that they are made in Hawaii. It is not.”
The complaint lists Robert Galinsky as the named plaintiff for the class, alleging that King’s Hawaiian “essentially invented that category of food,” although similar companies, including Pillsbury and Sara Lee, have since attempted to market copycat versions. It mentions four lawsuits previously filed by King’s Hawaiian Holding Co. against competitors for attempting to market products in similar packaging.
Photo by Nanna Moilanen on Unsplash
In 2019, King’s Hawaiian chose Aldi because of its near-identical packaging that allegedly violates its intellectual property. In that case, King’s Hawaiian accused Aldi of selling sweet rolls “that purposely and intentionally use product packaging that is confusingly similar to the distinctive packaging dress that King’s Hawaiian uses in conjunction with the Original Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.”
“King’s Hawaiian packaging apparel is one of our most valuable assets and King’s Hawaiian has assembled a world-class legal team of two to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights in the commercial apparel,” said John Linehan, chief strategy officer for King’s Hawaiian, said after the settlement. “We have invested a great deal of time and resources, and we intend that this legal team vigorously pursue any breach of our commercial clothing anytime, anywhere, at any cost.”
The recent filing mentions these cases to demonstrate just how much King’s relies on its packaging to sell the infamous product. When the company originally started making its reels, they were actually made in Hawaii. However, this has not been the case for several years.
“The objection,” the lawsuit reads, “is the mention of the title label of” Hilo, Hawaii, “where the buns were first made in the 1950s, but they are now made in Torrance, California – and the suggestion of one continued Hawaiian authenticity means consumers have to pay a higher price for the buns, ”the lawsuit said.
It goes on to say, “The defendant’s prominent placement of“ Hilo, Hawaii ”on the front label – along with the other legitimate uses of the word“ Hawaiian ”- misleads and misleads consumers who believe they are buying a Hawaiian-made product. If claimants and class members had known the truth, they would not have bought the product or paid less for it. For many consumers, authenticity has overtaken quality as the predominant purchase criterion. Sane consumers understand that the term “Hawaiian Rolls” on its own no longer refers to a Hawaiian-made roll than a “moon pie” can claim to have been baked on the moon. “
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