The plaintiffs, Curtis Winston and Jane Doe, filed a complaint on behalf of themselves and others June 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The suit alleges that the light-colored alternative to the milk chocolate version uses deceptive marketing because it does not contain “white chocolate,” Fox News says, quoting a Legal Newsline report.
The peanut butter cups are instead covered in a “white crème,” which is listed on the company’s website, Fox News says.
However, the complainants insist that as the other flavors — milk and dark chocolate — are actual chocolate, consumers assume the white version is made with white chocolate.
The White Reese’s wrapper does not say “white chocolate.”
“Defendant has taken affirmative steps for consumers to mistakenly believe the products contain white chocolate and has intentionally failed to correct the misimpressions,” the suit states, according to Fox News. “The absence of any modifying term before or after ‘white’ renders the products misleading because consumers are not able to differentiate between white chocolate and cheaper substitutes like compound or confectionary coating made from vegetable oils when the term ‘white’ is applied to a product traditionally associated with chocolate.”
The pair, on behalf of others, are suing over deceptive trade practices, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express and implied warranty, fraud and unjust enrichment, the legal site reported.
In a statement, Hershey’s told Fox News it does not comment on pending litigation.