Food giant Mondelez was sued in the Southern District of New York on Sunday. The company faces allegations that its Fudge Covered Oreos are misleadingly labelled as containing fudge, allegedly not meaning a reasonable consumer’s definition of fudge.
The plaintiff opened their complaint by citing a century’s worth of definitions of fudge, describing it as “‘a type of sugar candy that is made by mixing sugar, butter and milk,’” with milkfat as the essential component. The complaint cites a a recipe from 1893, as well as a recommendation present-day websites not to use vegetable oil as a substitute when making fudge.
According to the ingredients list of the Fudge Covered Oreos, the plaintiff claims, the product should not be labeled as containing fudge, as it uses vegetable oil-based fat instead of milkfat. The complaint says the palm and palm kernel oil used in the product are a lower-priced substitute, and that consumers expect products labelled as containing fudge to indicate a dairy-based product.
The complaint also added that fudge-covered cookies “exist in the marketplace and are not technologically or otherwise unfeasible to produce.”
The suit is one of many filed by Sheehan & Associates alleging similar examples of food packaging fraud. The specific counts include violations of state consumer fraud statutes, fraud, breach of warranty, and negligent misrepresentation.