“Made With Milk Chocolate” Claims Dismissed
On February 17, 2022, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York dismissed a lawsuit against Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, LLC (Mars) which alleged that Mars’ chocolate-coated vanilla ice cream bars (called Dove bars) deceived consumers by including vegetable oils in the bars while also making representations regarding the milk chocolate content of the bars.
Specifically, the labels of Dove bars stated that they were “made with milk chocolate” and that the vanilla ice cream had been dipped in milk chocolate. Plaintiff alleged that, based on these representations, consumers would not expect the product to contain “lower quality chocolate substitutes” such as coconut oil and palm oil.
The court dismissed these allegations as conflating the content of the milk chocolate ingredient with the content of the milk chocolate coating. As disclosed on the ingredient list, the predominant ingredient in the Dove bars was milk chocolate made with cocoa butter, and it was the chocolate coating, not the milk chocolate itself, which contained the vegetable oils. Nothing in the product labeling, including the “made with milk chocolate representation” indicated to a consumer that the product was made exclusively with milk chocolate and there was also no indication that the vegetable oils had been used to replace cocoa butter in the milk chocolate.