Legal Watch

Perfetti Van Melle USA faces $5m Mentos ‘packaging deception’ lawsuit

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Filled or unfilled? Perfetti to fight U.S. suit accusing it of under-filling Mentos gum packs
Filled or unfilled? Perfetti to fight U.S. suit accusing it of under-filling Mentos gum packs
Perfetti Van Melle USA says it will vigorously defend a class action lawsuit in New York that accuses the firm of deceiving consumers by slack-filling Mentos chewing gum containers.

Over 100 private citizens are seeking $5m in damages as they allege Mentos 50-piece sugar-free gum containers they purchased gave the false impression that the product contained more gum pieces. 

They say Mentos containers have the capacity for 70 pieces of gum but contain only 50, leaving a slack-fill of 29% which has been concealed by colorful plastic wrapping. They contend Perfetti has deliberately done this for flavors such as PureFresh and products under the Up2U label to create a difference between the actual capacity of the container and the volume of the product.

Mentos 50-piece gum products in question

  • mentos class action
    Pure Fresh – Fresh Mint, Spearmint & Pure White
  • Ice Flurry
  • Bubble Fresh Cotton Candy
  • Up2U Sweet Peppermint/Spearmint & Strawberry/Blackberry

“Defendant has deceived plaintiffs and other consumers nationwide by mischaracterizing the volume of its products ​[and]… has collected millions of dollars from the sale of its products that it would not otherwise earned,”​ reads the complaint.

“...In comparison to the Mentos products, other chewing gum products packaged in similar containers have transparent lids to allow consumers to easily determine how much chewing gum content they are actually receiving."

Perfetti: Packs prevent crushing

However, Perfetti refutes these accusations. Bethany Ammons, legal & general affairs coordinator at Perfetti Van Melle USA, told ConfectioneryNews: “We consider the lawsuit to have no merit and will vigorously defend against the claims.” 

Perfetti’s legal affairs spokesperson Ammons said the company packages its products in line with industry standards and applicable laws. 

claimants allege other gum containers allow consumers to see how well the package is filled
claimants allege other gum containers allow consumers to see how well the package is filled, but Perfetti says it follows the industry standard.

“Our gum products are packaged to allow for settling and filling in a conventional manner and to prevent crushing during transportation.  The package prominently tells consumers exactly how many items are inside the container and also provides the product weight, as is readily apparent to anyone handling it,” ​she said.

The claimants have asked for a jury trial.

Source:

United States District Court Eastern District of New York

Michelle Hu, Michelle Perry, John Doe (Illinois), John Doe (Michigan), John Doe (New Jersey), John Doe (Florida) and John Does 1-100 v Perfetti Van Melle USA
Case no: 1:15-cv-03742-KAM-JO

Related news

Show more

Related products

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more