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Costco Kirkland Ice Cream Bars Dipped in “Chocolate” Illinois Class Action

What ingredients are necessary in chocolate? And what ingredients, if added, would make the substance no longer chocolate? The product at issue in this class action is Kirkland Signature brand “Chocolate Almond Dipped” vanilla ice cream bars, from Costco Wholesale Corporation. The complaint alleges that the substance in which the bars are dipped should not actually be called “chocolate” because it contains vegetable oils.

The class for this action is all Illinois residents who bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations.

The process of making chocolate begins with fermenting, roasting and shelling cacao beans, to obtain cacao nibs. Chocolate makers grind the nibs to make cocoa mass or chocolate liquor, to which dairy, sweeteners, or flavors may be added.

The complaint alleges that definitions form boundaries around words which may include as well as exclude: “In the context of chocolate, all definitions universally exclude fats from sources other than cacao ingredients, namely, vegetable fats (oils).”

Consumers want chocolate made from cacao beans, without the replacement of cacao or cocoa butter with soybean or other vegetable oils, the complaint claims. This is for several reasons.

Cacao ingredients are more expensive and desirable. They also give a greater feeling of satiety, the complaint alleges.

The tastes are different. Chocolate made from cocoa butter has a creamy, smooth taste, the complaint says, while the additional of vegetable oils give it a different mouthfeel and waxy taste.

Chocolate has more health benefits, offering flavonoids that may help the heart and arteries, while vegetable oils may have what the complaint calls “artery-clogging trans-fats and saturated fats.”

Chocolate is a natural product, the complaint says, while vegetable oils “are made through synthetic means.”

Unfortunately, the “chocolate” in the “Chocolate Almond Dipped” ice cream bars contains vegetable oils. The complaint reproduces the ingredient panel from the product. This now calls the coating “Milk Chocolate Flavored Coating with Almonds” and shows that it contains both “Coconut Oil” and “Soybean Oil.”

The complaint also looks at the placement of the ingredients, which are supposed to be listed according to weight: “Coconut Oil, … Unsweetened Chocolate, Soybean Oil, Unsweetened Chocolate Processed with Alkali…” This placement, it says, demonstrates that the product contains less chocolate than vegetable oils.

Furthermore, the complaint alleges that the last ingredient is not actually chocolate but cocoa powder, which is sometimes processed with alkali because of its strong taste. Cocoa powder does not contain cocoa butter.

The complaint alleges that the actual make-up of the bars should be disclosed on the front label, by calling the substance either “chocolate flavored” or “milk chocolate and vegetable oil coating.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Costco Kirkland Ice Cream Bars Dipped in “Chocolate” Illinois Complaint

July 17, 2021

What ingredients are necessary in chocolate? And what ingredients, if added, would make the substance no longer chocolate? The product at issue in this class action is Kirkland Signature brand “Chocolate Almond Dipped” vanilla ice cream bars, from Costco Wholesale Corporation. The complaint alleges that the substance in which the bars are dipped should not actually be called “chocolate” because it contains vegetable oils.

Costco Kirkland Ice Cream Bars Dipped in “Chocolate” Illinois Complaint

Case Event History

Costco Kirkland Ice Cream Bars Dipped in “Chocolate” Illinois Complaint

July 17, 2021

What ingredients are necessary in chocolate? And what ingredients, if added, would make the substance no longer chocolate? The product at issue in this class action is Kirkland Signature brand “Chocolate Almond Dipped” vanilla ice cream bars, from Costco Wholesale Corporation. The complaint alleges that the substance in which the bars are dipped should not actually be called “chocolate” because it contains vegetable oils.

Costco Kirkland Ice Cream Bars Dipped in “Chocolate” Illinois Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Ingredient Not the Real Thing