DOUGHNUTS

A California plaintiff has voluntarily withdrawn her proposed class-action lawsuit against Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. over what she claimed were misleading nutritional labels.

The complaint from Jacqueline Salem of Beverly Hills was filed Thursday in the Central District of California with a request for a jury trial.

Salem’s lead attorney, Todd Friedman, submitted a one-page motion Friday addressing her dismissal. The motion appeared Tuesday on the Pacer website that contains federal legal filings.

Friedman said the dismissal was being made without prejudice, meaning it could be filed again.

The filing and withdrawal of the complaint occurred before Krispy Kreme could answer the complaint or file a motion for summary judgment.

Krispy Kreme spokeswoman Sarah Roof said Monday that the company has a policy of not commenting on active litigation. Also being sued was franchisee Great Circle Family Foods LLC.

Salem accused the companies of “feeding false information to consumers in order to deceive them into making purchases that they would otherwise not make to obtain an unfair and unjust benefit.”

California law is considered to have a low bar for proving violations of the business and professions code, as well as false advertising and breach of contract.

Salem said she ate apple fritters “on a reoccurring basis” at Krispy Kreme shops from 2013 through this month. She claimed to have used a company nutritional guide in making her purchase. The guide was presented as an exhibit in her complaint.

Friedman could not be reached to determine how many apple fritters Salem bought each week or month.

Krispy Kreme advertises that its apple fritter “is brimming with cinnamon flavor and contains bite-size chunks of real apple. And, of course, our signature glaze adds a satisfying finishing touch.”

Salem said she specifically chose an apple fritter because the nutritional chart listed it as having 4 grams of sugar and 210 calories. The same chart listed the company’s original glazed doughnut as having 10 grams of sugar and 190 calories. Most regular-size specialty doughnuts ranged from 7 to 34 grams of sugar, and from 190 to 400 calories

Krispy Kreme’s website lists 28 grams of sugar and 390 calories for the apple fritter, with a caloric breakdown of 47 percent fat, 49 percent carbohydrates and 4 percent protein.

Salem accused the companies of trying “to take advantage of consumers who are actively trying to make healthier and more conscientious decisions about what they consume.”

Salem requested restitution for herself and potential class-action members, as well a court order for Krispy Kreme to change its nutritional listings. Krispy Kreme apple fritters typically cost between $1.09 and $1.29 each.

rcraver@wsjournal.com 336-727-7376 @rcraverWSJ

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