More than 20 retailers have filed an appeal against a US court decision to clear three chocolate firms over claims they conspired to raise prices between 2002 and 2007.

In February, a court in Pennsylvania ruled in favour of Hershey, Mars and Nestle and dismissed the case, citing a lack of evidence to support the allegations.

In an email to just-food, a spokesperson for Hershey said the “appeal was expected and is typical for these types of cases”.

“We are pleased that the court recognised that there was no basis for a case and no misconduct on the part of The Hershey Company. We have long held that the allegations in this case were without merit and the court confirmed that with its decision to dismiss the case without a trial,” he added.

A spokesperson for Mars declined to comment saying it was “unable to comment on ongoing litigation”.

Nestle did not respond to requests for comment.