Russell Stover Chocolates LLC and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company find themselves as defendants in a proposed class action focused on the alleged amount of slack-fill in their product packaging. Filed just in time for Valentine’s Day, the eight-page suit out of New York’s Eastern District claims the packaging the chocolate companies use for their products is “predominantly empty,” a fact not visible to consumers.
The lawsuit states the sidewalls of the defendants’ product packaging, i.e., their rectangular and square boxes, bottle boxes, “purse” boxes, and standup or tent bags, provide no information on the contents therein, a move that the case claims serves to “mislead consumers.” Moreover, the complaint alleges, the defendants’ packaging was constructed to be formed and filled so that a reasonable consumer “would be misled as to the quantity and/or amount of its contents.” An added benefit of the defendants’ alleged slack-filling practices, the case claims, was to obtain a leg up on their competition in the confectionery marketplace.
From the complaint:
“Defendants’ purpose was to mislead consumers who seek quick convenient purchases of packaged chocolate products for personal consumption and use, and knew consumers were incapable of ascertaining the deceptive packaging without having purchased the Products.
Defendants’ intent was to secure economic advantage in the marketplace against competitors.”
The suit looks to cover a proposed class of consumers nationwide who purchased any Russell Stover and/or Ghirardelli chocolate products within the applicable statutes of limitations.