Hershey is sued over lack of artistic detail on Reese’s candies

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – Hershey has been sued by a Florida woman who said its holiday-themed Reese’s peanut butter candies lack the artistic details shown on the packaging that make them worth buying.

In a proposed federal class action filed on Thursday and seeking at least $5 million, Cynthia Kelly accused Hershey of deceiving reasonable consumers by falsely promising that its candies would contain “explicit carved out artistic designs.”

She said she would not have paid $4.49 in October at an Aldi for a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins, had she known that the candies not only lacked the “cute looking” carved eyes and mouth shown on the packaging, but any carvings at all.

The complaint said Hershey’s labels “are materially misleading and numerous consumers have been tricked and misled by the pictures on the products’ packaging.”

It cited several videos on Google’s YouTube, and included illustrations such as a Reese’s Peanut Butter footBall shaped like a football, but missing the laces shown on the packaging.

Hershey did not immediately respond on Friday to requests for comment. Kelly’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a similar request.

The plaintiff filed her lawsuit in the federal court in Tampa, Florida.

She is seeking damages for Florida purchasers of 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 for violations of that state’s consumer protection laws.

Kelly’s lawyer has also filed lawsuits accusing Burger King and Taco Bell of selling food that when served looks less enticing than advertised.

The case is Kelly v Hershey Co, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, No. 23-02977. (This story has been refiled to fix a typo in paragraph 9)

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Grant McCool)