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Consumer Sues Ghirardelli Chocolate Company for Deceptive White Chocolate Labels

A Puerto Rico resident filed suit against Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, on his own behalf and on behalf of other consumers in the U.S. territories, alleging that Ghirardelli mislabeled its white chocolate products and led consumers to believe that certain products contained chocolate when in fact they contained no chocolate, white chocolate, or cocoa derivatives.  The lawsuit, filed after Ghirardelli settled a similar suit in the U.S. last year, alleges that product packaging for Ghirardelli’s premium-priced “classic white” baking chips, white chocolate flavored confectionary coating wafers, and sweet ground white chocolate, which contains the word “chocolate” violates FDA regulations and misleads the public into believing that the products contain chocolate.  The suit further alleges that the products do not meet the FDA’s definition of white chocolate whose requirements include a minimum of 20 percent by weight of cacao fat.  This suit seeks class certification, injunctive relief, disgorgement of profits, damages, and attorneys’ fees.  Victor Vega-Encarnacion v. Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, Case No.: 3:15-cv-01821, United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.

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