A federal magistrate in Illinois has dismissed a lawsuit that accused Mondelez International Inc, the multinational confectionery company, of misleading consumers about the mint content in its “Original Flavour” Trident gum.
The judge ruled that it was unreasonable to expect consumers to assume that the gum contained mint based solely on the packaging’s blue leaf with condensation droplets. The lawsuit alleged that this imagery was deceptive and led consumers to believe that the gum had a mint flavor.
In the ruling, the judge referred to a previous dismissal of a similar case involving Walmart and their Great Value Fudge Mint Cookies. This previous case was also dismissed on the grounds that consumers cannot reasonably expect a product to contain mint solely based on the packaging’s visual cues.
According to the judge, Mondelez’s labeling was not deceptive or misleading because it did not explicitly use the word “mint,” and the packaging was not green like genuine mint leaves. The judge’s decision highlighted the importance of clear and unambiguous labeling, stating that consumers should not be misled by implied flavors based on packaging design alone.
The lawsuit had accused Mondelez, which has its headquarters in Chicago, of violating consumer protection statutes in multiple states across the United States. However, with the case dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be refiled.
As of now, there has been no immediate response from Lesorgen’s counsel, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, or representatives from Mondelez.
The dismissal of this lawsuit serves as a reminder that clear and accurate labeling is crucial in the food industry, ensuring that consumers can make informed choices about the products they purchase.