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Haagen-Dazs Vanilla “Milk Chocolate” Ice Cream Bars Illinois Class Action

What is chocolate? Does the coating on Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Milk Chocolate ice cream bars qualify? The complaint brings suit against the company responsible for the bars, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc., alleging that the coating does not qualify as real 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.

Chocolate is a food “prepared from ground roasted cacao beans.” Cacao beans are fermented, roasted, and then shelled, to obtain cacao nibs. They are made into a cocoa mass or chocolate liqueur, which is then combined with other ingredients.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that chocolate is made from cacao beans with some optional ingredients, such as dairy products, sweeteners, and flavorings.

The complaint alleges that words are also defined by what they exclude: “In the context of chocolate, the definitions universally exclude fats from sources other than cacao ingredients, viz, vegetable oils.” According to the complaint, “Federal and state regulations require that where a food has some chocolate but is supplemented by a non-de minimis amount of chocolate substitutes, it should be disclosed on the front label as ‘milk chocolate and vegetable oil coating.’”

“In 2007,” the complaint says, “a group of the largest confectionary companies … sought to re-define chocolate by replacing cacao ingredients with ‘cocoa butter equivalents’ (‘CBE’), or vegetable fats.” The complaint adds, “Over thirty[ ]thousand Americans submitted critical comments, crashing the FDA’s website.”

The complaint alleges, “Roughly sixty percent of respondents who viewed the Product’s front label milk chocolate statements with a chunk of chocolate [] expected it would contain more cacao bean ingredients than it did and would not be made with chocolate substitutes.”

The complaint claims that “consumers are misled” when chocolate ingredients from cacao beans are replaced by vegetable oils. For one thing, cocoa butter costs three times as much as vegetable oils. For another, the complaint says, cacao ingredients provide “greater satiety than vegetable oils…” Also, it says, instead of providing a “creamy and smooth taste[,]” “vegetable oils—in amounts as low as five percent—contribute to a waxy and oily mouthfeel and leave an aftertaste.”

Furthermore, it claims that chocolate “has health and nutrition benefits that vegetable oils lack.” The flavonoids in cacao beans, the complaint claims, “positively affect the heart and arteries against harmful free radicals” while “[v]egetable oils raise cholesterol, contain artery-clogging trans-fats and saturated fats, and are linked to higher rates of heart disease.”

Finally, the complaint claims, chocolate is natural, while the coconut oil often used is synthetic.

The complaint reproduces the ingredient panel for the product. It says that the “Milk Chocolate and Vegetable Oil Coating” contains “Milk Chocolate” and “Coconut Oil.” While that may be accurate, the complaint alleges, “Consumers of a premium ice cream bar, under the Haagen-Dazs brand, will not be so distrustful [as] to scrutinize the fine print of the ingredient list to confirm the front label is accurate.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Haagen-Dazs Vanilla “Milk Chocolate” Ice Cream Bars Illinois Complaint

June 28, 2021

What is chocolate? Does the coating on Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Milk Chocolate ice cream bars qualify? The complaint brings suit against the company responsible for the bars, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc., alleging that the coating does not qualify as real chocolate because it contains vegetable oils.

Haagen-Dazs Vanilla “Milk Chocolate” Ice Cream Bars Illinois Complaint

Case Event History

Haagen-Dazs Vanilla “Milk Chocolate” Ice Cream Bars Illinois Complaint

June 28, 2021

What is chocolate? Does the coating on Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Milk Chocolate ice cream bars qualify? The complaint brings suit against the company responsible for the bars, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc., alleging that the coating does not qualify as real chocolate because it contains vegetable oils.

Haagen-Dazs Vanilla “Milk Chocolate” Ice Cream Bars Illinois Complaint
Tags: Contains Too Little of Featured Ingredients, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels