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Lorna Doone “Shortbread” Cookies Contain No Butter Class Action

This class action brings suit against Mondelez Global, LLC for its Lorna Doone shortbread cookies. The complaint alleges that the product’s ingredients don’t provide what consumer expect in a shortbread cookie, because it is not made with butter but with vegetable oils.

Two classes have been proposed 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 North Dakota, Kansas, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Delaware who bought the product during the applicable statutes of limitations.

The name “Lorna Doone” was taken from a character in an 1869 Scottish novel. “Shortbread originated in Scotland,” the complaint, with the “short” part of its name coming from its short or crumbly structure. The crumbly structure occurs because the butter does not allow the formation of long gluten strands, which would give a doughy texture.

“Shortbread is usually made from one[ ]part white sugar, two parts shortening (butter), and three to four parts plain wheat flour[,]” the complaint claims.

While, strictly speaking, shortbread can be made with butter or vegetable oils, butter offers a rich taste from milkfat. The complaint alleges, “Vegetable fats do not contribute to the flavor of shortbread cookies, because they are theoretically ‘refined, bleached and deodorized.’” However, the vegetables oils may not remain flavorless, the complaint says, because “these ingredients are subject to reversion where they contribute off-odors to foods.”

The complaint alleges that the representations on the front of the Lorna Doone package violate federal and state regulations that “require a product’s front label to contain a common or usual name which accurately identifies or describes, ‘in as simple and direct terms as possible, the basic nature of the food or its characterizing properties or ingredients.’”

According to the complaint, the product is not what consumers expect to find in shortbread cookies, because of “(1) the absence of butter, (2) shortening provided exclusively from vegetable oils—canola and palm oil, and (3) the use of baking soda.”

Page 5 of the complaint reproduces the product’s ingredient panel to demonstrate these three things. No butter is listed; instead, we see only canola and palm oils; and baking soda also figure in the list.

The complaint alleges, “The result of substituting vegetable oils for butter, and adding baking soda, is a Product which lacks the nutritional, organoleptic, and sensory attributes of shortbread.” It claims that the product should not be called “shortbread” cookies, or that the front label should notify consumers that butter is absent and baking soda is used.

The complaint claims that the inclusion of a valued ingredient like butter has “a material bearing” on its desirability and the price that consumers are willing to pay for it: “The front label creates an erroneous impression that the Product contains ingredients associated with, and expected from[,] shortbread, such as butter, and [that it] does not contain leavening.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Lorna Doone “Shortbread” Cookies Contain No Butter Complaint

October 19, 2021

This class action brings suit against Mondelez Global, LLC for its Lorna Doone shortbread cookies. The complaint alleges that the product’s ingredients don’t provide what consumer expect in a shortbread cookie, because it is not made with butter but with vegetable oils.

Lorna Doone “Shortbread” Cookies Contain No Butter Complaint

Case Event History

Lorna Doone “Shortbread” Cookies Contain No Butter Complaint

October 19, 2021

This class action brings suit against Mondelez Global, LLC for its Lorna Doone shortbread cookies. The complaint alleges that the product’s ingredients don’t provide what consumer expect in a shortbread cookie, because it is not made with butter but with vegetable oils.

Lorna Doone “Shortbread” Cookies Contain No Butter Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Does Not Contain Implied Ingredients