As a consumer, it may appear logical to expect that the item contained therein matches the advertised image depicted on the front of the product packaging. In the case of Hershey’s holiday chocolate, however, Florida resident, Cynthia Kelly, claims that the facial motifs etched into the product wrapper design are not actually carved into the outer chocolate coating of Reese’s Peanut Butter pumpkins, ghosts, footballs, snowmen, stockings, and bells. On behalf of herself and additional impacted customers, the Florida plaintiff filed the lawsuit, which has reached class action status, and aims to retrieve $5 million in compensation.
According to the legal opinion of a lawyer who is not directly connected to the lawsuit, in order for the plaintiff to succeed in her battle against Hershey, she maintains the burden of proving three points of interest. Primarily, Cynthia Kelly must prove that the images illustrated on the packaging played a significant factor in widespread consumer purchasing decisions. In addition, Kelly must prove that a majority of consumers share the same view of expectations based on the produced advertising. Finally, Kelly should also effectively demonstrate that the class members are warranted the damages sought. In her lawsuit, Kelly is demanding a trial by jury.
One of the biggest interpretations of the case teeters on the edge of frivolous debate, leaving onlookers to question whether or not the purchase of a $4.49 bag of chocolate coated peanut butter is worth the associated costs. Although the plaintiff claims that Hershey engaged in trickery and misrepresented a line of its products, it may be difficult to image the level of impact or damages incurred from the alleged misleading advertisements. After the lawsuit was filed, one noteworthy commenter confirmed the dichotomy of package versus product, explaining that on the wrapper, the chocolate is stamped “with faces and a little mouth — then you open up the packet and you are presented with that monstrosity.”