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Florida Woman Sues Hershey Company After Finding Holiday-Themed Reese’s Cups Don’t Actually Have “Artistic” Carvings

— December 28, 2023

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Florida woman, who filed the $5 million complaint after finding that her Halloween-themed Reese’s candy did not actually contain the “artistic” carvings displayed on its packaging.

A Florida woman has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the Hershey Company, claiming that it deceived customers by selling holiday-themed Reese’s candies that did not have the same designs shown on their packages.

According to The Miami Herald, the complaint was filed on behalf of plaintiff Cynthia Kelly, who says that she bought a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins for about $4.49 in October of 2023. Kelly’s decision was based, in part, on packaging that showed “a cute looking carving of a pumpkin’s mouth and eyes as pictured on the product packaging.”

However, upon opening her chocolate, Kelly did not find any “artistic carvings” on the chocolate. If she had known that the chocolates did not have such carvings, Kelly says, she would never have purchased the product.

“[Kelly] would not have purchased the Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins if she knew that it did not have the detailed carvings of the mouth and/or eyes as pictured on the product label,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint also provides links to YouTube videos, where content creators criticized Hershey for its allegedly deceptive packaging.

Somewhat comically, the lawsuit quotes several YouTubers’ reaction to finding that their $4.49 Reese’s chocolates were not, in fact, adorned with “artistic” pumpkins, ghosts, or ghouls.

“Reese’s, what are you doing?” said a YouTube content creator quoted in the complaint. “Look at the picture on the packet. It’s like a pumpkin with faces and a little mouth—then you open up the packet and you are presented with that monstrosity.”

A gavel. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/user: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).

“We got lied to,” another YouTuber said, apparently disappointed that the Reese’s “White Ghost Peanut Butter” bar bore only a crude resemblance to its phantasmal packaging.

Now, Kelly and her attorneys are accusing the Hershey Company of “false and deceptive advertising.” Her lawsuit, filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, seeks damages for Kelly and other consumers who were similarly “tricked and misled.”

“Hershey’s labels for the Products are materially misleading and numerous consumers have been tricked and misled by the pictures on the Products’ packaging,” the lawsuit alleges.

The complaint notes that Reese’s only recently introduced detailed designs to its packaging.

“The packaging for the Reese’s Products were not always deceptive and misleading,” the lawsuit says. “In order to boost sales and revenues of the Products, Hershey’s changed the packaging for the Products to include detailed carvings within the last two to three years.”

An attorney for Kelly also tried to pre-empt allegations that the lawsuit may have been filed in bad faith by saying that he would not have taken the case if it lacked merit.

“We feel confident when we file these cases that they have merits,” said attorney Anthony J. Russo, who has filed similar false advertising claims against Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Burger King. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t move forward with them.”


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