July 28, 2021

Volume XI, Number 209

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July 27, 2021

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July 26, 2021

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Lawsuit Targets Dreyer’s “Chocolate” Ice Cream Bars

  • On July 18, a proposed class-action lawsuit was filed against Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Inc., the makers of Haagen-Dazs vanilla milk chocolate almond ice cream bars. The complaint claims that the company misleadingly packages the product as containing “milk chocolate,” when it actually contains “milk chocolate with vegetable fat coating.”

  • Illinois consumer Lawrence Rice alleged that Dreyer’s failed to inform consumers that it uses coconut oil as a substitute for some cacao beans to make the chocolate in the vanilla milk chocolate almond ice cream bars. In the complaint, Rice states that the Standards of Identity (SOI) for “milk chocolate” at 21 CFR 163.130 require that milk chocolate be made from cacao beans with a small amount of optional ingredients, like dairy and nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners, but that vegetable fats (oils) are excluded. Rather the complaint argues that “where a food has some chocolate but is mainly vegetable oils” it falls under the SOI for “milk chocolate and vegetable fat coating” at 21 CFR 163.155 and should be disclosed to the consumer.

  • In the complaint, Rice states that the product label presents a “half-truth” and compares the ice cream bar packaging, which contains pictures of chocolate chunks, a vanilla flower, and almonds, against the ingredient list, which declares coconut oil as the least predominant ingredient but is not included in the label graphics. Rice argues that “[t]he product does not contain imitation vanilla or almond alternatives, which makes it especially misleading that it contains alternatives to chocolate in the form of vegetable oil.”

  • Rice looks to represent a class of similarly situated Illinois residents who also purchased the ice cream bars. He is asking for the court to award monetary and statutory damages, as well as injunctive relief directing Dreyer’s to cure product labels of the alleged misrepresentations.

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 202
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About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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