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The Hershey Company faces lawsuit for too much empty space in packages of chocolate

By Mason White 2:59 PM May 24, 2017
Packages of chocolate with a lot of empty space
Packages of chocolate with a lot of empty space
By: William Martin

The Hershey Company based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, was slapped with a lawsuit for allegedly misleading consumers by selling chocolate in packages that contain too much empty space, according to court documents filed in Missouri.

Robert Bratton of Columbia, Missouri, told the court that he purchased a Whoppers Product and a Reese’s Pieces Product at a Gerbes store for personal, family, or household purposes.

The purchase price of each product was approximately $1.00.

When he opened the packages, he was shocked to discover that there was a lot of empty space.

Bratton alleges that The Hershey Company is acting in a deceptive and misleading matter by tricking consumers into believing that the chocolate packages contain more product than they actually have.

Bratton claims that the practice of packaging the chocolate in boxes with too much space, is in violation of the MMPA (Missouri Merchandising Practices Act).

“The Hershey Company employed fraud, deception, false promise, misrepresentation and/or the knowing concealment, suppression or omission of material facts in its sale and advertisement of the products. In addition, the conduct has caused plaintiff and the Missouri Consumer Subclass members irreparable injury,” according to the lawsuit.

Bratton alleges that the boxes of Reese’s Pieces and Whoppers are uniformly under-filled and slack-filled. He claimed that he would not have purchased the products if he had known that the containers were substantially empty.

Specifically, approximately 59% of the Whoppers container is filled with candy, and the remaining 41% of the container is empty.

Similarly, approximately 71% of the Reese’s Pieces container is filled with candy, and the remaining 29% of the container is empty.

The Hershey Company denied all the allegations. U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey allowed the lawsuit to move forward.