Plaintiff Challenges Oreos’ “Real Cocoa” Content
Mondelez International Inc. allegedly markets its Oreos as containing “Real Cocoa” despite containing “cocoa processed with alkali.” Harper v. Mondelez Int’l Inc., No. 19-2747 (N.D. Cal., filed May 20, 2019). A plaintiff has asserted that the claim “‘Always made with Real Cocoa’ or ‘Real Cocoa’ is intended to differentiate the cocoa in the Products from cocoa that has been processed, such as cocoa powder ‘processed with alkali,'” and Mondelez allegedly misleads consumers by including processed cocoa rather than unprocessed cocoa in Oreos. “No reasonable consumer would expect the cocoa in the Products to have been processed with alkalis, because ‘real’ represents the cocoa powder is included in its most unadulterated, non-artificial form,” the plaintiff argues. “It is false, deceptive and misleading to conspicuously promote ‘real cocoa’ without any reference to the presence and use of alkalis either preceding or following because ‘real cocoa’ without any modifying terms implies the absence of artificial ingredients in the cocoa.” The plaintiff alleges fraud and violations of California consumer-protection statutes and seeks class certification, damages, injunctive relief and attorney’s fees.