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Style & Living Food and Drinks

Uh-Oh! This Giant Chocolate Company Is Being Sued For Under-Filling Boxes of Candy

Are you getting ripped off?

By Drew DiSabatino

Some things in life will always be annoying. Like when mobile apps have a billion pop-up ads. Or when the volume on the TV is crazy loud during commercials but impossible to hear once your show comes back on. Or, the king of all annoyances: anytime you open up a snack bag/box/package and see that it's filled with about 75 percent air.

For shame.

First there was a lawsuit against Wise Foods, a chip manufacturer accused of adding too much to their bags of chips. But now, a beloved snack brand of a different variety is coming under fire.

Delish reports that Hershey's has become the target of a class-action lawsuit filed by a consumer in Missouri who believes the candy producer is criminally under-filling both Reese’s Pieces and Whoppers boxes (by 29 percent and 41 percent, respectively.) The lawsuit argues that because the “average consumer spends a mere 13 seconds” considering a purchase, the look of a product’s packaging heavily influences that decision, and therefore packaging should clearly reflect the content inside.

Unlike with fragile potato chips that require air to prevent crushing, the lawsuit argues that any “slack-fill” (dead air) included in candy boxes serves no practical purpose other than being “misleading and unlawful” to consumers.

(It feels worth pointing out that the real gem of the lawsuit has to be paragraph 20, which simply describes the candy, stating “The Whoppers Products are small, spherical-shaped candies, which Defendant describes as ‘malted milk balls.’” Keep in mind that someone went to law school to type that sentence.)

Hershey’s own attorneys refute the claim, arguing that consumers are well aware that any product packaging is going to contain empty space. But the ruling, and the argument of the suit, will apparently rest on a judge’s decision about how much space is too much space. (Unless of course it settles out of court.)

Only time will tell. In the meantime, grab some popcorn and a (hopefully well-filled) box of candy and enjoy the show.

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