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Chocolate company sued for US$5 million over ‘misleading’ packaging of products

A woman from Florida filed a hefty class-action lawsuit against Hershey’s Company over the ‘misleading’ packaging of Reese.

Cynthia Kelly of Tamba Bay filed a class action lawsuit in Florida’s Middle District Court against the candy company for $5 million.

According to the complaint, Kelly said she and some consumers purchased Reese’s Peanut Butter products based on “false and deceptive” advertising.

She revealed that several Reese’s products were meant to have ‘explicit carved out artistic designs,’ only to find “no such carvings in the actual products.”

The suit is centered around the following Reese’s Peanut Butter products:

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins
  • Reese’s White Pumpkins
  • Reese’s Pieces Pumpkins
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Ghost
  • Reese’s White Ghost
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Bats
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter footballs
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Shapes Assortment Snowmen, Stockings, Bells

The complaint that was filed in Florida’s Middle District Court, alleges that Hershey’s violated Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

The issue was not about how the chocolate tasted, but how they were presented.

In the lawsuit, Kelly claimed the Reese’s Peanut Butter products were ‘falsely’ represented as “containing explicit carved out artistic designs when there are no such carvings in the actual products.”

According to the court documents, Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins are depicted on the label as having carved-out eyes and a mouth to resemble a jack-o-lantern. However, the actual product has no carvings for the eyes and mouth.

actual product
Actual product

On the other hand, another product that was on the list was Reese’s White Ghosts also missed their decorative carving. Kelly claims many consumers have been “tricked” and misled” by the product’s pictures.

packaging 1
actual product
actual product

“Hershey’s labels for the Products are materially misleading and numerous consumers have been tricked and misled by the pictures on the Products’ packaging,” the suit states.

It was alleged that Kelly found the product at an Aldi in Hillsborough County, Florida. She bought Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins, which she “believed that the product contained a cute looking carving of a pumpkin’s mouth and eyes as pictured on the product packaging” for $4.49. However, when she opened it, she said that no such design was on the chocolate.

The case alleges Hershey’s took part in and “further a common scheme” to persuade customers to buy the decorative candy by “means of untrue, misleading, deceptive, and/or fraudulent representations.”

If a judge grants the lawsuit class-action status, it would apply to “all consumers within the State of Florida” who bought the “misleading” Reese’s products.

“The matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $5,000,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and this is a class action in which the number of members of the proposed class is not less than 100,” the lawsuit said.


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