Source - Food & Beverage Litigation Update | Issue 770

Shortbread Cookies Lack Expected Butter, Consumer Alleges

A plaintiff has alleged that Mondelez Global LLC misleads consumers about the butter content of its Lorna Doone shortbread cookies. Troutt v. Mondelez Global LLC, No. 21-1279 (S.D. Ill., Benton Div., filed October 19, 2021). The plaintiff argues that “the Product’s ingredients are inconsistent with what consumers expect from a food identified as ‘shortbread cookies'” and asserts that “ defines shortbread as a ‘a butter cookie commonly made in thick, pie-shaped wheels or rolled and cut in fancy shapes.'” Instead of butter, the plaintiff alleges, Mondelez uses “shortening provided exclusively from vegetable oils,” resulting in a cookie that “lacks the nutritional, organoleptic, and sensory attributes of shortbread.” Further, the consumer argues, the representation of Lorna Doone cookies as providing a ‘”Melt in Your Mouth’ taste is false and misleading” because “vegetable oils do not melt at mouth temperature, and leave a waxy mouthfeel,” while “[b]utter melts at mouth temperature and does not contribute to a waxy sensation.” The complaint also asserts that “[s]hortbread cookies made with the expected ingredients are not a rare or pricy delicacy that would make a reasonable consumer ‘double check’ to confirm the presence of butter by scouring the packaging.” The plaintiff alleges misrepresentation, fraud, unjust enrichment and violations of Illinois consumer-protection statutes.

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