Court Dismisses Mondelez Alkalized Cocoa Lawsuit
A New York federal court has dismissed a putative class action alleging that Mondelez misled consumers by labeling Oreos as “always made with real cocoa” despite containing cocoa refined through an alkalizing process. Harris v. Mondelez Global LLC, No. 19-2249 (E.D.N.Y., entered July 28, 2020). The plaintiffs argued that the “representation ‘real cocoa’ is false, deceptive and misleading because consumers expect ‘real cocoa’ to indicate a higher quality cocoa than had the ingredient merely been accurately identified as ‘cocoa’ (minus the descriptor ‘real’).”
“Plaintiffs do not dispute that the challenged products are in fact made with cocoa, which is fatal to their case,” the court held. ” Plaintiffs’ claims are trained on whether the product contains cocoa that is real, and the Oreos indisputably do contain cocoa, along with other ingredients.” The court dismissed the claims with prejudice, finding the substantive issue could not be cured with better pleadings.