A customer couldn't find any ginger in Canada Dry ginger ale, so she's suing

A glass of ginger ale. [Shutterstock]
A glass of ginger ale. [Shutterstock]
Published Aug. 2, 2018

Ginger ale seems different from other sodas. Some people consider it to be a remedy for stomach upset, so it's basically medicine, right? It has the word ginger - a popular herbal remedy - right there in the name.

Now one lawsuit says customers have been misled all along. Julie Fletcher filed a federal lawsuit against the owners of Canada Dry ginger ale alleging the beverage does not contain ginger, the Buffalo News reports. Canada Dry's listed ingredients are carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, sodium benzoate, natural flavors and caramel colors.

"Ms. Fletcher believed . . . Canada Dry was made using ginger root and was, as a result, a healthier alternative to regular sodas," said her lawyer, Michael DeBenedictis, in the lawsuit.

It's not the first lawsuit to hold the ginger ale company to task for its ingredient list. Law 360 reported that a similar suit in Missouri against Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which produces Canada Dry, was dismissed in June. In that suit, lab tests revealed that the beverage did not contain ginger. But the company argued that ginger is used to make the "natural flavoring" in the drink and contested the methodology of the lab test.

Other lawsuits and viral campaigns against food and beverage companies have held companies accountable for claims they have made in advertising and packaging. There have been multiple lawsuits against Kellogg's from people who were led to believe that Froot Loops contained real fruit. A famous lawsuit, later dismissed, accused the sandwich chain Subway of shorting customers on its foot-long subs. A lawsuit against Chobani over its nutritional labels also pointed out, incredulously, that yogurt labeled as "Greek" was made in the United States. Until 2015, a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte never contained pumpkin, an ingredient that was added after pressure from the blogger Food Babe.

As for Fletcher, the Buffalo News says that one factor in her confusion about the product was a 2011 commercial where a hunky "ginger farmer" pulled a root out of the ground - and was pulled up through a woman's cooler of Canada Dry. Which, to clear up any confusion for future litigation, is physically impossible.

And if you want a carbonated drink that is sure to contain ginger, try ginger beer, instead.