A group of consumers has filed a putative class action against Perfetti
Van Melle USA alleging that the packaging of its Mentos® sugar-free gum contains non-functional slack fill, which amounts to unfair business
practices. Hu v. Perfetti Van Melle USA Inc., No. 15-3742 (E.D.N.Y., filed
June 26, 2015). The gum is sold as packages of 50 in non-transparent
tubes designed to fit into a car’s cup-holder. The complaint alleges that
the height of the tube is unnecessary because it could hold approximately
70 pieces of Mentos® gum—leaving the 50 pieces to fill just 71 percent of
the tube’s capacity. The 50-piece product’s packaging was “designed by
Defendant to give the impression that there is more content than actually
packaged,” the complaint asserts, noting that a 15-piece Mentos® gum product does use transparent packaging. The complaint lists two named
plaintiffs, residents of New York and California, along with four John
Doe plaintiffs who reside in Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey and Florida.
They seek class certification for consumers of those states along with a
nationwide class for unfair trade practices.

 

Issue 573

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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