Is white chocolate still a chocolate? Given the presence of cocoa butter in most mixes of that confection, we’re inclined to lean toward an asterisked “yes.” However, a recently filed class action lawsuit on the topic begs to differ.
Late last month, two individuals filed suit against The Hershey Co. in New York over “deceptive trade practices, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express and implied warranty, fraud and unjust enrichment,” according to Legal Newsline. The suit takes issue with White Reese’s, the paler counterpart to the popular peanut butter treat, and is predicated on the idea that while “white chocolate” is not actually featured in the name of the product, The Hershey Co. has “intentionally failed to correct the misimpressions” of consumers believing that the candies are covered in white chocolate.
The lawsuit’s argument: “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.” For what it’s worth, the Reese’s website describes the cups as covered in “white creme.”
The Takeout’s argument: this is incredibly goofy, and exactly the kind of suit that makes people around the world resent litigious Americans. After all, this isn’t McDonald’s being sued over somebody getting scalded by coffee, or something else that seems frivolous but can have real consequences. It’s a semantic argument over a chocolate that’s barely chocolate in the first place. And if you’re inclined to get upset over your Reese’s cups only being covered in sugar, as opposed to a more specific type of sugar, we encourage you to go outside for a while.
Life is short, and ultimately fleeting. There’s so much to do that doesn’t involve litigation against a peanut butter cup.