Trick Not Treat! Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins Missing ‘Cute’ Faces Shown on Packaging in New Lawsuit

reeses peanut butter

The Hershey Company is facing a proposed class action lawsuit for alleged false and deceptive marketing of its Reese’s Peanut Butter products

A pumpkin without a mouth, a ghost without eyes, and football without laces are at the center of a new class action lawsuit aimed at chocolate giant Hershey’s, the maker of Reese’s Peanut Butter products. The chocolatey treats in question are in Reese’s holiday range of peanut butter products and are depicted on advertising as having carved details to match their festive shapes. 

But the recent Reese's Peanut Butter lawsuit and a number of other customers online have accused the chocolate maker of false advertising saying instead they were “flabbergasted” by opening the packages to find “it’s just a chocolate blob.”

Customers not dressing up their claims

Cynthia Kelly filed the proposed class action lawsuit against The Hershey Company in Florida seeking at least $5 million. She says that in October last year, she was shopping at Aldi and saw Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins displayed near the checkout registers. Believing the candies “contained a cute looking carving of a pumpkin’s mouth and eyes as pictured on the product packaging” she bought a bag for $4.49. 

“However, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins product that Plaintiff purchased did not contain any of the artistic carvings of the mouth or eyes as pictured on the label,” the Reese's Peanut Butter lawsuit says, and Kelly said she wouldn’t have bought them had she known that was the case.

The situation is the same for the Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins, White Pumpkins, Pieces Pumpkins, Peanut Butter Ghost, White Ghost, Peanut Butter Bats, Peanut Butter footBalls and Peanut Butter Shapes Assortment Snowmen Stockings Bells, which all have marketing including carved details that the actual treats don’t include, the Reese's Peanut Butter lawsuit says. 

With their alleged deceptive packaging, Hershey’s is acting in an “immoral, unethical, unscrupulous” way that is “substantially injurious to consumers,” the Reese's Peanut Butter lawsuit claims. 

Reese’s reputation on the line

The packaging for the Reese’s products weren’t always deceptive and misleading, the Reese's Peanut Butter lawsuit claims. “In order to boost sales and revenues of the products, Hershey’s changed the packaging for the Products to include the detailed carvings within the last two to three years.” But those changes might have backfired for the veteran confectionary brand. 

The Reese's Peanut Butter lawsuit lists a number of YouTube videos calling the company out for letting them down, with vloggers saying the chocolates are “a monstrosity” and “just a chocolate blob. That’s a little disappointing” and calling Hershey’s a liar and accusing the company of being cheap.

Trust and reputation is everything for a company, and the recent accusations could damage the veteran brands image with its loyal patrons — some of whom would have been eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for years given they were created in 1928, according to Hershey’s.

Hershey’s in court again

Hershey’s is already facing another proposed class action lawsuit, along with Rainforest Alliance, that accused the two organizations of  false and deceptive claims about child labor, labor practices, and deforestation, Sierra Club reports.

In 2022, Hershey’s faced a lawsuit filed by a man in New York who said the company “fails to disclose” that some of its chocolate products “contain unsafe levels of lead and cadmium,” The Guardian reported. While that lawsuit was dismissed, the company is still battling a similar proposed class action lawsuit in California.

Kelly is seeking to represent Reese’s-eaters in Florida with her Reese's Peanut Butter lawsuit, in which she accused Hershey’s of violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. If successful, she is asking for compensatory damages, for Hershey’s to correct the deceptive behavior, and an award of attorneys’ fees, expenses, and recoverable costs.

The plaintiff and the proposed class are represented by Anthony J. Russo, Esq. and Anthony J. Russo, Jr., P.A. d/b/a The Russo Firm.

The Reese’s peanut butter false advertising class action lawsuit is Kelly v. The Hershey Company, Case No. 8:23-cv-02977, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

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