When the topic of root beer comes up, it’s likely that A&W immediately springs to mind. This iconic soda brand has consistently made its way onto lists of the most popular root beer choices. With a recipe dating back over a century, A&W has long been regarded as one of the original and finest names in the root beer business. The perception of A&W’s superiority was further strengthened when they introduced the “Aged Vanilla” label on their cans and bottles. The smooth and delightful flavor seemed to suggest that it originated from the use of aged vanilla.
However, a surprising revelation emerged, challenging this assumption. It turns out that A&W root beer might not actually contain aged vanilla as previously believed. About three years ago, a class action lawsuit was filed against A&W Concentrate Company and Keurig Dr. Pepper Inc., questioning the presence of this essential ingredient in their root beer. Recently, a judge reviewed the case and agreed with the plaintiffs, stating that the company had deceptively claimed on the front labels of their products that the beverages were “MADE WITH AGED VANILLA,” even though the primary source of vanilla flavor was an artificial and synthetic ingredient known as ethyl vanillin.
To address this issue and provide compensation to affected consumers, a preliminary settlement of $15 million has been approved. This means that individuals who purchased A&W root beer or cream soda between February 7, 2016, and June 2, 2023, will be eligible to receive a monetary settlement ranging from $5.50 to $25, depending on their ability to provide proof of purchase.