Oh, Fireball. The base for so many cinnamon-flavored regrets. The low ABV adult…liqueur….is currently facing a $5 million lawsuit for misleading advertising. Specifically, there are two main Fireball items in play here; Fireball Cinnamon, and Fireball Cinnamon Whisky.
Fireball Cinnamon has an ABV of 16.5%. Fireball Whisky sports 33%, considerably higher. Cinnamon apparently “captures the essence of the Fireball Whisky taste.” The product is actually listed as being a “malt beverage with natural whisky and other flavors and caramel color.” The lawsuit stems from both products having extremely similar bottle labels and designs, yet housing a very different product. It claims consumers “wouldn’t think to inspect the label before purchasing.”
It’s easy to see the confusion here. The labels, minus dropping the word ‘whisky,’ are nearly identical. This is when recognizable branding kinda bites you in the butt.
The plaintiff claims she “saw the labeling elements of the Fireball Cinnamon and did not immediately notice the differences from the Fireball Whisky.” The lawsuit says the mini bottle cost her $0.99, and if the plaintiff knew about the Cinnamon/Whisky difference, she “wouldn’t have spent that much” on the product.
“Unlike Fireball Whisky, Fireball Cinnamon products can be sold in beer, malt beverage and wine stores for our fans who want a wider variety of convenient shopping locations,” Sazerac Company explained. “However, many states have laws that prohibit malt beverage and wine-based products being sold above a certain alcohol content. We chose an alcohol content that would allow us to provide our fans with great tasting products and with as many additional shopping locations as possible.”
The suit seeks $5 million for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment. It also demands the Fireball Cinnamon label be changed, to reflect the difference.
Please drink responsibly, and chose something that’s actually whisky.