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Betty Crocker “Fudge” Brownie Mix Alleged Not to Contain Fudge Class Action

General Mills Sales, Inc. makes a dry mix for making brownies, under its Betty Crocker brand, that it calls “Fudge Brownie Mix.” The complaint for this class action takes issue with that name and the labeling of the product. It asserts, “The representation is misleading because it gives consumers the impression it contains a greater relative and absolute amount of the expected fudge ingredients than it does.”

Two classes have been defined for this action:

  • The Illinois Class is all persons in Illinois who bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations.
  • The Consumer Fraud Multi-State Class is all persons in Iowa and Arkansas who bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations.

The complaint reviews old recipes for fudge that generally describe this treat as containing sugar, butter, and milk. As another example of what fudge is, the complaint alleges, “The difference between ‘hot fudge’ and ‘chocolate sauce’ is due to the fat content, as the former is thicker and richer, while the latter is thinner and more pourable.”

The complaint makes another assertion about fudge: “The quality of fudge depends on the amount and type of fat-contributing ingredients.”

The fat ingredients can come from milk fat in dairy products, such as butter, or from vegetable oils.

Dairy ingredients give fudge a rich, creamy taste; the complaint says that “milk[ ]fat contains hundreds of lactones, aroma compounds which contribute to its taste.” Milk fat melts at around mouth temperature.

Vegetable oils are solid at room temperature and do not melt at mouth temperature. They therefore give fudge a waxy mouthfeel. Vegetable oils are not supposed to contribute flavor to fudge, because, the complaint says, they are supposedly “refined, bleached and deodorized.” Unfortunately, they sometimes do end up contributing in a negative way, the complaint claims: “However, these ingredients are subject to reversion where they contribute off-odors to foods.”

According to the complaint, the front label of the brownie mix should characterize the product as something other than fudge, such as “Chocolate-Flavored Cake Mix.” This is because, the complaint alleges, “[t]he Product lacks essential fudge ingredients—dairy ingredients with milk[ ]fat—and substitutes lower[-]quality and lower-priced palm oil…” It reproduces the ingredient panel, which shows “Palm Oil,” “Corn Syrup,” and “Canola Oil.”

The complaint alleges, “Reasonable consumers are misled by the identifying term, ‘Fudge,’ because they expect this means a non-de-minimis relative amount of dairy ingredients containing milk fat.”

Consumers prefer milk fat, the complaint claims, because vegetable oils are linked to health problems, like increased risk of heart disease, and because milk fat contains fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K.

The complaint alleges that the brownie mix should disclose on its label, “Contains No Fudge.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Betty Crocker “Fudge” Brownie Mix Alleged Not to Contain Fudge Complaint

September 3, 2021

General Mills Sales, Inc. makes a dry mix for making brownies, under its Betty Crocker brand, that it calls “Fudge Brownie Mix.” The complaint for this class action takes issue with that name and the labeling of the product. It asserts, “The representation is misleading because it gives consumers the impression it contains a greater relative and absolute amount of the expected fudge ingredients than it does.”

Betty Crocker “Fudge” Brownie Mix Alleged Not to Contain Fudge Complaint

Case Event History

Betty Crocker “Fudge” Brownie Mix Alleged Not to Contain Fudge Complaint

September 3, 2021

General Mills Sales, Inc. makes a dry mix for making brownies, under its Betty Crocker brand, that it calls “Fudge Brownie Mix.” The complaint for this class action takes issue with that name and the labeling of the product. It asserts, “The representation is misleading because it gives consumers the impression it contains a greater relative and absolute amount of the expected fudge ingredients than it does.”

Betty Crocker “Fudge” Brownie Mix Alleged Not to Contain Fudge Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels