For years we’ve been hearing that the next gold mine for plaintiffs lawyers would be consumer cases against food and beverage companies alleging that they deceived the public about the health consequences of their products. But so far, plaintiff wins in such suits have been about as rare as a Big Mac at a vegetarian retreat.

The latest plaintiffs’ defeat is the denial of class certification in a purported Manhattan federal district court class action against Snapple. In a 37-page decision (pdf) issued last week, Judge Denise Cote refused to certify a class of New York Snapple purchasers who asserted that Snapple’s claims of “All Natural” ingredients in its teas and juices violated New York consumer protection laws because the beverages contained high-fructose corn syrup.

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