Miguel Schelmetty says the beer is masquerading as Mexican “through the brand name, the traditional Meso-American typeface, the mythical Aztec eagle emblazoned on the product and the statements ‘Original’ and ‘Cerveza,'” on the labeling, according to his Manhattan Federal lawsuit from Friday.
Also, Tecate’s website says “Hecha En Tecata Baja California Mexico” and “Born and brewed in the land we are proud to share our name with: Tecate,” the suit points out.
Meanwhile, the company only discloses its true origins “in small font on the back of the boxes on the lower left where it states ‘Product of Holland'” and “‘Brewed and canned by HBBV Amsterdam, Holland … Imported by Cervezas Mexicanas, White Plains, NY,'” the court documents note.
Schelmetty claims this is deceptive advertisement.
And had Schelmetty and other consumers known Tecate is actually made in Holland “they would not have bought the product or would have paid less for them,” the court papers say.
Tecate sells for “a premium” at around $11.99 for a 12-pack — which is “higher than the price of the product if it were represented in a non-misleading way,” the suit alleges.
“Defendant sold more of the Product and at higher prices than it would have in the absence of this misconduct, resulting in additional profits at the expense of consumers,” the court documents charge.
Schelmetty is asking a judge to allow his suit to be filed as a class action so that other consumers can also seek damages. He is suing for unspecified damages.
Heineken did not immediately return a request for comment.