California Company to Halt European Candy Imports in Agreement with Hershey
Let’s Buy British Imports (LBB Imports) has reportedly agreed to stop importing Cadbury chocolate made overseas pursuant to the settlement of a lawsuit in which Hershey Co. alleged that the importer violated the candy company’s trademarks and trade dress of Cadbury, Kit Kat® and other products by selling versions produced internationally. Hershey Co. v. LBB Imports LLC, No. 14-1655 (M.D. Penn., settlement date unknown). The settlement agreement apparently restricts the importation of all Cadbury chocolate as well as Kit Kat® bars, Toffee Crisps, York Peppermint Patties, and Maltesers®.
Many consumers have responded negatively to the settlement terms; a campaign to boycott Hershey began on Twitter, and a MoveOn.org petition to protest Hershey’s trademark protection actions has garnered more than 25,000 signatures. The protesters reportedly argue that British Cadbury chocolate tastes better because of its ingredients—the British version of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bar contains milk as its first ingredient while the American version’s first ingredient is sugar, and the American version apparently contains emulsifiers that reduce the viscosity of chocolate but prolong the shelf life. The British version apparently uses different emulsifiers and contains vegetable fats. In addition, American chocolate must contain 10 percent cocoa solids to fall within the U.S. definition of chocolate, while the British equivalent must contain 20 percent. Details about the complaint appear in Issue 536 of this Update. See The New York Times, January 23, 2015; The Independent, January 26, 2015.