As this lawsuit rages on, we may be forced to confront the terrifying possibility that we're getting ripped off at movie concession stands.
Photo via Hafer v. Nestlé U.S.A., INC.
Realistically, when do you ever eat chocolate-covered raisins outside of a movie theater?
Probably not very often. But there are few movie-going rituals as exciting as shaking a $10 box of Raisinets like a maraca before entering the screening room. In fact, they are so intertwined with film viewing that you can even buy "concession-size" boxes on Amazon.
With theater concession stands raking in something like 85 percent profit (you might be better off buying and smuggling in the Amazon ones), it's a fair question to ask just how much air is inside your maraca (i.e. box) of chocolate-covered raisins.
That's exactly what California resident and presumable film enthusiast Sandy Hafer did. Evidently, she did not like the result of her investigation, and is now calling out Nestlé USA—maker of the iconic cinema snacks, among many other food products—in a class action lawsuit in excess of $5 million.
The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, alleges that Nestlé intentionally mislead consumers by manufacturing boxes that are too big for their contents and is thus in violation of California and federal law, which prohibit misleading representation of consumer goods.
"In reality, the Products are uniformly under-filled—approximately only 60% of each of the products' packaging is filled with Raisinets candies," the lawsuit states. "Unbeknownst to consumers, who cannot see the contents inside the products' packaging at the time of purchase, approximately 40 percent of each products' packaging is non-functional slack-fill—empty space which serves no functional purpose under the law."
As a result, Hafer is seeking damages, restitution, declaratory and injunctive relief, and "all other remedies this court deems appropriate," for all those who have purchased the air-filled candy boxes.
Speaking of emptiness, Nestlé, for its part, says that the lawsuit is a bunch of hot air. "We are aware of the lawsuit," Nestlé USA told MUNCHIES. "Which is one of many similar suits filed against food manufacturers and retailers. The allegations are baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves. All Nestlé products and labels comply with FDA regulations and provide consumers the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions."
As this lawsuit rages on, we may be forced to confront the terrifying possibility that we're getting ripped off at movie concession stands. The shock!