Fireball Cinnamon Hit with Lawsuit


Fireball Cinnamon Whisky | Image by MDV Edwards

A class-action consumer fraud lawsuit has been filed against the makers of a popular alcoholic beverage.

The lead plaintiff, Anna Marquez, filed the lawsuit against the parent company of Fireball Cinnamon, Sazerac, in the United States District Court in the Northern District Of Illinois earlier this month.

Marquez alleges the company uses purposefully misleading packaging on miniature versions of its product. 

The mini bottles of Fireball Cinnamon are part of a line of Sazerac products that are meant to mimic the original Fireball Cinnamon Whisky but do not contain the same Canadian whisky base. Instead, they are malt-based and wine-based. 

These miniature bottles can therefore be sold in gas stations or grocery stores that are not allowed to sell hard liquor. 

The plaintiff’s lawyers are attempting to make the case that the original Fireball Cinnamon Whisky and mini bottle labels are indistinguishable and, thus, misleading, causing consumers to think they are buying whisky when they are not. 

Marquez says she herself bought the mini bottles assuming they contained whisky.

The lawsuit also alleges that the fine print, which claims the product is made “With Natural Whisky & Other Flavors,” is misleading. The company says it means it uses natural whisky flavors and others in the beverage. The lawsuit argues that most consumers will believe “Natural Whisky” to be separate from “Other Flavors.”

The suit adds that, “when viewed together with the Fireball distilled spirit brand name, the label misleads consumers into believing it is or contains distilled spirits.”

The Fireball FAQ page states that the company initially decided to make an alternative to its whisky with malt and wine as a way for consumers to purchase the product from more convenient locations that cannot sell distilled spirits. 

The lawsuit alleges that Sazerac is in violation of consumer fraud statutes, has breached an express warranty, and is benefitting from unjust enrichment. There are over 100 plaintiffs in the case, all of whom claim to have purchased the item believing it contained distilled spirits. 

The lawsuit seeks to cover anyone in North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Arizona, South Carolina, or Utah who has had a similar experience purchasing Fireball Cinnamon. According to the suit, the plaintiffs will seek over $5 million in damages. 

On finding out that Fireball Cinnamon did not contain distilled spirits, Cecilia Stariha, a bartender in Irving, told The Dallas Express, “I am shocked. I don’t even know what to say.” She followed by expressing her disdain for misleading marketing techniques.

Another Irving resident, Nicholas Hoff, who drinks Fireball regularly, told The Dallas Express concerning Fireball Cinnamon, “I never noticed [that it wasn’t whisky], so I thought it was kind of weird. I do feel lied to. The alcohol percentage must also be much lower than normal Fireball.”

Hoff was correct. The mini bottles of Fireball Cinnamon are only 16.5% alcohol by volume, exactly half of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky’s 33%.

The Dallas Express reached out to Sazerac for comment but had not received a response at press time. The company has not made any public comment on the lawsuit.

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2 months ago

Maybe people should learn to read labels, especially when making purchases at a convenience store that isn’t licensed to sell distilled spirits!

The ability to read is important, as is common sense!

Reply to  LoWa
2 months ago

Because companies now bank on people’s ignorance and lack of attention. Shrinkflation is a perfect example. Lowering the ounces of a product assuming people won’t notice. Giving you less and yet still raising the price. Some have a dilemma, because eggs are sold by the dozen so can’t sell 11. But it’s pretty obvious that large eggs have gotten smaller. Sodas are measured by 2 liters or 12 ounce cans, but then they just screw with the ingredients. There is no way sodas are as good as they were in, say, the 60’s. Pepsi used to be a wonderful soda. Last 2 times I tried it, it was tasteless. Dr. Pepper actually still tastes the same, only because of the unique flavor. I get treats for dogs that used to come in 5, 25 and 50 oz. packages. They are now 4.5, 22.5 and 47 oz. Let’s take an oscillating fan. You may see that sell somewhere for $50. Then you see what, by all appearances, is the same fan at Walmart for $39. But if you were to really investigate, the model numbers are different. You’ll think you’re getting the same fan, but it is not the same quality. So yes, some of us do notice but the big question is, what to do about it. Are we going to spend countless hours checking the number of ounces on products, when in many instances never noticed what the original weight was?

Lying and misrepresenting has become a way of life for politicians and merchants (including citizens). There is a reason “Thou shalt not bear false witness” is in the Bible. Lying is not a small thing. It causes problems on every level. You cannot have justice without truth.

Last edited 2 months ago by Pap