Anheuser-Busch’s ‘Agave Spiked Seltzer’ Has No Agave Spirits and Instead Uses Lower Quality Agave Syrup, New False Advertising Class Action Alleges

Anheuser-Busch & Agave Spiked Seltzer & False Advertising
(Photo Credit: Wspin/Shutterstock)

Anheuser-Busch’s Agave Spiked Seltzer False Advertising Class Action Lawsuit Overview:

  • Who: Anheuser-Busch Inbev Worldwide Inc. has been hit with a class action lawsuit for false advertising pertaining to its “Agave Spiked Seltzer.”
  • What: Lead Plaintiff Rebecca Read said the company misled consumers about the amount and quality of agave in the alcoholic drinks.           
  • Where: The class action suit is for consumers in Illinois, Iowa, and Arkansas.

Anheuser-Busch’s “Agave Spiked Seltzer,” sold under the Cacti brand, contains no agave spirits and instead uses a cheaper and lower quality agave sweetener, a new false advertising class action lawsuit alleges.

The class action was filed in Illinois on Sept. 11 by lead plaintiff Rebecca Read, who alleges the company violated state fraud and business laws and committed negligent misrepresentation.

Anheuser-Busch Inbev Worldwide Inc. manufactures, labels, markets, and sells “Agave Spiked Seltzer” purporting to be “made with 100% Premium Blue Agave from Mexico and Natural Flavors for a Refreshing and Bold Taste,” according to the class action lawsuit.

Agave is a perennial succulent often mistaken for cactus, and is traditionally the main ingredient in tequila. As of 2021, agave-based spirits are the third largest spirits category in the US, behind vodka and whisky, the claim explains.

Anheuser-Busch jumped on the popularity of agave by marketing its drink to emphasize the agave plant through words and pictures, including on the front of the cans, the lawsuit alleges.

Anheuser-Busch’s Agave Spiked Seltzer Falsely Advertised as Containing ‘100% Premium Blue Agave’

Read adds she did not expect “Agave Spiked Seltzer” to contain agave sweetener, because it wasn’t labeled, “Agave Sweetened Spiked Seltzer,” and was advertised alongside a field of agave plants, with the statement, “Down to Earth Ingredients. Out of this World Flavor. Cacti.”

“Elsewhere in its marketing and advertising, the product is described as ‘Made With 100% Blue Agave’ and ‘Made with 100% Premium Blue Agave from Mexico and Natural Flavors for a Refreshing and Bold Taste,’” she alleges.

Those representations are misleading because they give consumers the impression the spiked seltzer contains a more valued type of agave ingredients than it does, Read said. She added that she would not have purchased it had she known the representations were false and misleading.

“In the context of an alcoholic beverage, consumers will expect that ‘Agave Spiked Seltzer’ means the seltzer is ‘spiked’ with agave spirits,” the lawsuit said.

“Had [the] plaintiff and proposed class members known the truth, they would not have bought the product or would have paid less for it,” the class action lawsuit claims.

Read wants to represent consumers from Illinois, Iowa, and Arkansas. She is suing for violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, state consumer fraud acts, breaches of express warranty, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment. She seeks certification of the Class, damages, injunctive relief, legal fees and costs, interest, and a jury trial.

Do you drink the Cacti spiked seltzer? Let us know if you thought it contained agave spirits in the comments section below!

Read is represented by Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates, P.C.

The Cacti Spiked Seltzer False Ad Class Action Lawsuit is Read v. Anheuser-Busch Inbev Worldwide Inc., Case No. 1:21-cv-01261-JES-JEH, in the U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois Peoria Division.

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