A man in Virginia has filed a lawsuit against Godiva Chocolate after realizing that the "Belgian" chocolates he purchased in Washington D.C. were not actually from Belgium — and he is not the first to bring up the issue to court.
In a case filed on Wednesday in the District of Columbia District Court, the plaintiff seeks $75,000 in damages for purchasing products from the company that features "Belgian 1926" on the packaging.
In 1926, Godiva Chocolatier was founded in Brussels, Belgium. Their confections are still highly sought around the world, and since those humble beginnings, the company has opened more than 600 stores in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.
In order to meet those demands, however, Godiva could not just produce their chocolates in Belgium. After the Campbell's Soup Co. purchased the company in the 1960s, which they no longer own, a plant in Reading, Penn. was opened. The U.S. plant produces the same amount of chocolate as the Belgian plant; however, if you are enjoying a Godiva chocolate that you purchased in the states, it was likely made in America.
But the “Belgian 1926” package posed an issue for one man.
Virginia man sues Godiva, claims the "Belgian" Godiva chocolates he bought in DC are *not* Belgian. Seeks $74,000 in damages pic.twitter.com/JCTIwyW4mi— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) July 18, 2019
"The reasonable consumer would interpret this to mean... the contents are made in Belgium," the suit reads. "Further, Godiva's social media materials are filled with innuendo that all their products are made in Belgium... This is not a coincidence: Belgium has a reputation as the producer of many of the world's finest chocolates. Consumers pay a premium for chocolates emanating from this country."
Earlier this year, Godiva faced a similar lawsuit, in which two plaintiffs argued that the brand misrepresented its product due to the "Belgium 1926" wrapper. They sought $5 million in damages and demanded a jury trial.
"Godiva intentionally plays on the false impression that the Godiva Chocolates are made in Belgium and then imported to the United States, in order to enhance the image of Godiva Chocolates as luxury chocolates," the suit, filed on Jan 31, 2019, states. "It does this because Belgian chocolates are widely known to be among the highest quality in the world.
"However, unbeknownst to consumers, the Godiva Chocolates are not made in Belgium as represented," the suit continued. "Rather, all of the Godiva Chocolates are made in Reading, Pennsylvania."
Ultimately, that case was dismissed.
At the time, a spokesperson for Godiva told the Reading Eagle, "Godiva was founded by the entrepreneurial Draps family in 1926 as a small praline-making business run out of their home in Brussels, Belgium. Nearly a century later, every piece of Godiva chocolate that is produced and sold around the world is still bursting with quality, Belgian craftsmanship, and the world's finest ingredients. We are a Belgian brand that is tremendously proud of our roots and our Belgium 1926 logo reflects this spirit, paying homage to the time and place where our story first began."
Godiva did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment regarding the recent lawsuit.
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