Candy company seeks payment for omega-3 product

by Jeff Gelski
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NASHVILLE, TENN. — The Standard Candy Co. has sued NutraBella Inc., seeking payment for products with omega-3 fatty acids. The Standard Candy Co. requests $92,274.40 plus interest in the case filed April 10 in a U.S. district court in Nashville. While the products may be unsatisfactory and have a "fishy" taste, NutriBella agreed to accept all risks with the products, according to the lawsuit.

According to court filings, NutriBella, Palo Alto, Calif., originally approached The Standard Candy Co., Nashville, about manufacturing products with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid known for its benefits in diets, especially those of expectant mothers. Many of NutriBella’s products are directed to expectant mothers.

The Standard Candy Co. at first refused to reformulate NutriBella’s formula to include DHA.

"Plaintiff warned defendant that its experience with the use of DHA was negative and that even many large international brands with extensive testing and development capabilities had not been able to successfully introduce DHA into their products," the lawsuit said.

NutriBella then hired an outside developer to create a process and formula to introduce DHA into its products. The Standard Candy Co. agreed to follow the process and formula after NutriBella agreed it would accept the risk of negative outcomes, according to the lawsuit.

The Standard Candy Co. said it told NutriBella a batch of the product manufactured on June 13, 2008, had a "fishy" taste, but NutriBella still paid the invoice.

On Dec. 23, 2008, NutriBella failed to pay an invoice of $40,548.96, claiming a set off for its alleged losses and damage due to the unsalable product manufactured on June 13, according to the lawsuit.

The Standard Candy Co. in the lawsuit seeks payment from NutriBella for the $40,548.96 along with $51,725.44 for the cost of ingredients bought specifically for use in NutriBella’s products.

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