A US court has rejected arguments that Nestle Nutrition used “misleading” health claims to justify a price premium for probiotic infant formula products sold under its Gerber brand.

According to court documents, the plaintiffs argued that Nestle “manufactured, labelled, marketed, distributed and sold” products at a “premium over non-probiotic-based formulas”. This higher price was justified by claims that the probiotic formula had “health benefits beyond basic nutrition, including supporting a healthy immune system, better brain and eye development, and better digestive health”.

The class action lawsuit suggested these health claims were “misleading”.

However, New Jersey District Judge Jose Linares accepted Nestle’s motion to dismiss the class action lawsuit. The motion suggested the plaintiffs had “cobbled together” an argument “bereft of the facts and details”. 

A spokesperson for Nestle Nutrition welcomed the court’s findings. “We are very pleased with the result, and Judge Linares’ decision, and believe it is the right decision at this stage.”

The spokesperson told just-food the baby food maker “stands by” the health claims associated with its Gerber probiotic infant formulas and cereals.  

“Gerber believes all of the advertising and labels of these products are truthful, accurate, and lawful, and Gerber stands by its claims.  Ensuring the safety of our products is Gerber’s most important priority.”

In a recent interview with just-food, Neslte CEO Paul Bulcke revealed how Nestle is leveraging science-based nutrition solutions to drive growth. Click here to access the full interview.