Lindt & Sprungli’s US unit Ghirardelli has agreed to pay US$5.25m into a fund to settle claims brought against it in a class action lawsuit.
According to the plaintiffs, Ghirardelli “confused or misled” consumers into thinking products labeled “premium baking chips – classic white” and “premium baking chips – classic white chip” were white chocolate chips, when they did not contain the required level of cocoa solids.
The lawsuit also claims Ghirardelli labelled and marketed as “all natural” certain products that were allegedly not “all natural”.
Under the terms of the settlement proposal, consumers who purchased the products in question can receive a $1.50 refund for each package of white chips and $0.75 refund for each other product marked “all natural”.
According to court documents, Ghirardelli “stands by its labelling and marketing and denies that it did anything wrong”.
However, the company had agreed to modify its labeling, Adam Gutride of Gutride Safie LLP, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, told just-food.
“Ghirardelli is removing the “all natural” labeling, has modified the product name of the white chips, and has removed references to “baking chocolate” and “chocolate indulgence” from the white chips package,” Gutride said.
“The plaintiffs are very pleased with the settlement and hope that the court will approve it so that purchasers can obtain their refunds. The settlement is good for consumers because it helps ensure that statements on product labels are accurate.”