A&W Root Beer Might Not Have This Crucial Ingredient

Vanilla is a quintessential ingredient in our drinks and baked goods for adding and enhancing natural flavors, but a new lawsuit claims that A&W root beer doesn't contain an ounce of the real thingĀ (via Top Class Actions). This is problematic and upsetting to many, as the long-standing root beer producer claimed that their beverages are made with "aged vanilla" in their advertising.

Many consumers were unhappy about the fact that they were wrongly sold a product that they believed was a "healthy indulgence," as it was made with "real vanilla." And despite the nutrition label including ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, and preservatives, the word "vanilla" was nowhere to be found.

The lawsuit continues to state that the company falsely leads consumers by using chemicals that mimic the taste of vanilla. This is a breach against the trust between consumer and vendor, and as a result, the lawsuit is aiming for monetary damages, treble damages, and punitive damages, amongst other reparations, to be paid by the company.

Why A&W and other root beers need vanilla

If A&W is truly found not to be using "aged vanilla," like it claims to, not only is it cheating its consumers of a more natural, "healthier" version of the flavor, but it is also breaking a common preparation tradition of the cream soda industry, which A&W also sells (via The American Candy Store). LEAFtv states that both beverages are very alike in their production process. However, while root beer is known for having a complex herbal flavor, cream soda is a lighter beverage.

Vanilla ice cream was believed to be an important ingredient in making the original cream soda, as it provided the creaminess associated with the beverage, according to Top Class Actions. Now, however, cream soda allegedly relies on vanilla for its flavor, as well as the illusion of cream. Therefore, A&W subbing this crucial ingredient for an artificial chemical is robbing consumers of the authentic, creamy taste of true root beer.