Ghirardelli and Russell Stover fined $750,000 for excessive candy packaging

Photo: dragana991 (iStock)

There’s nothing worse than tearing into that box of Russell Stover’s you got for Valentine’s Day, only to fight through all the brown paper to finally get to your favorite nougats and caramels. If it seemed to you like there was a lot of paper in there, congrats, you were right!

Fox Business reports that Stover’s and Ghirardelli, both owned by the Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprungli, were “sued and fined $750,000 for allegedly packaging chocolates in oversized packaging to deceive consumers into thinking they were purchasing more chocolate than they were actually receiving.” Says Fox Business, the lawsuit alleged that the companies were “misleading customers by selling chocolate products in oversized containers that were ‘predominantly empty.’” Ghirardelli was also dinged for selling a product that contained less cocoa than advertised.

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Without admitting any wrongdoing, the companies agreed to a $750,000 fine. They also agreed to revisit their packaging practices, which could include shrinking boxes to more accurately reflect the amount of candy inside, or perhaps offering transparent box windows to aid the consumer.

Previous lawsuits went after candymakers Nestlé and Werthers after consumers reportedly purchased a near-empty Raisinets box and a half-empty bag of caramels, respectively. Candy buyers, beware, and maybe give that box or bag a good shake before purchase?

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Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.