Food, being an established aspect of global human culture and history, occupies a unique role in contemporary society. Given the massive market available for packaged and processed food, companies have taken deceptive marketing to new heights, resulting in a flurry of consumer litigation. The dominant test for -evaluating the scope of these cases is the reasonable consumer standard, an amorphous assessment which requires a probability that a majority of the general public or targeted consumers would be misled by said deceptive marketing. By analyzing state and federal consumer protection statutes, landmark cases, and elements of human and cultural psychology, the authors argue that the reasonable consumer standard should consider the primary elements driving consumer behavior through an interdisciplinary lens rather than a legalistic approach. Such a broadened perspective would support long-established consumer protection goals, clarify legal standards across product types, provide context to heterogeneous consumer background and educational levels, and better align the judicial approach with the advanced marketing techniques employed in the food context.
What the Judge Ate for Breakfast: Reasonable Consumer Challenges in Misleading Food Labeling Claims,
Loy. Consumer L. Rev.
Available at: https://lawecommons.luc.edu/lclr/vol35/iss1/5