Chocolate Producers Settle Class Action for $23.2M

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Last month, major chocolate producers settled a class action for $23.2 million. The class action alleged that Cadbury, Mars, Hershey, Nestlé and distributor ITWAL had engaged in price-fixing by artificially inflating the cost of chocolate. Settlements with all of the defendants have resolved the litigation, and will enable chocolate purchasers to be compensated for a portion of their spending on chocolate. The settlement funds are currently being held in trust.

If you purchased chocolate from October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2007, you may be eligible to claim monetary compensation if you file a claim by December 15, 2013.

There are two categories of chocolate purchaser: consumer and commercial purchaser.

1) Consumers

Eligibility:

A consumer is someone who purchased chocolate not for commercial resale. Examples include purchasing chocolate for personal consumption, or on behalf of sports teams or schools. Consumers must have purchased at least $1,000 in chocolate products from October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2007 to be eligible to claim monetary compensation. Spouses and/or children residing in the same household may combine their purchases to meet this threshold.

Compensation:

  • Consumers who are able to prove their purchases will be compensated at a rate of 2.625% of their purchase.
  • Consumers who are not able to prove their purchases may still be compensated at a rate of 1.875% of their purchases, up to a maximum of $50.

2) Commercial Purchasers

Eligibility: There are three sub-categories of Commercial Purchaser. Commercial Purchasers may fall under any number of these categories, depending on the purchases made.

2.1) Direct Commercial Purchasers purchased chocolate directly from Cadbury, Mars, Hershey or Nestlé for direct commercial resale to Consumers.

2.2) Intermediary Commercial Purchasers purchased chocolate either directly from Cadbury, Mars, Hershey or Nestlé or indirectly from an entity other than Cadbury, Mars, Hershey or Nestlé for resale to entities other than Consumers (which includes affiliates, licensees and/or franchisees).

2.3) Secondary Commercial Purchasers purchased chocolate from an entity other than Cadbury, Mars, Hershey or Nestlé (which includes purchases from affiliates, franchisors or licensors) for direct commercial resale to Consumers. 

Compensation:

All Commercial Purchasers must provide proof of purchase, but may be able to rely on the Defendants’ sales records for proof.

  • Direct Commercial Purchasers will be compensated at a rate of 0.875% of their purchases.
  • Intermediary Commercial Purchasers will be compensated at a rate of 0.175% of their purchases.
  • Secondary Commercial Purchasers will be compensated at a rate of 0.7% of their purchases.

Indirect Compensation

In addition to the direct monetary compensation available to Consumers and Commercial Purchasers, a portion of the settlement has been set aside for distribution to consumer and public interest organizations in Canada.

Making a Claim

Chocolate purchasers with eligible claims are encouraged to file their claims online at www.chocolateclassaction.com. Paper claim forms may also be requested by contacting the claims administrator at 1-866-432-5534.