Partner Pooja Nair Featured in L.A. Times Food & Beverage Industry Roundtable
Pooja S. Nair, Chair of ECJ’s Food, Beverage and Hospitality Department, is featured as an industry expert in the 2021 Los Angeles Times Food & Beverage Industry roundtable, which focuses on how businesses have adapted to a changing reality, key consumer trends, and emerging challenges facing the food and beverage industry.
Pooja discusses how legal trends in this sector have led her to "counsel clients on making sure that claims for their food and beverage products are consistent with the reasonable consumer standards, false advertising issues as they relate to food and beverage, and compliance with employment laws and public health orders." She is seeing the rise of food and beverage companies as targets of consumer class action cases related their advertising and labeling practices with 220 filed in 2020, up from 179 in 2019 and just 53 in 2018.
Also of note, Pooja points out the Federal Trade Commission's increasing appetite for food and beverage advertising scrutiny, including increased enforcement of the “Made in USA” labeling rule, GMO labeling standards and deceptive ads related to COVID-19 immunity.
On the business side, while restaurants are facing new challenges regarding staffing, partnerships and changing guidelines, being in Southern California also has its advantages. According to Pooja, "California consumers are at the forefront of food and beverage trends, including plant-based, gluten-free and CBD-infused products."
Click here to read the full L.A. Times roundtable discussion, including more of Pooja's insights.