False chocolate advertising on Amazon.com?

Yep.. we found another instance of false advertising in the chocolate industry.

What we found and how we found it:We went to www.amazon.com and in the search box typed in “chocolate covered strawberries” and then hit the go button.

The first product that shows up has the title “One Dozen Chocolate Dipped Strawberries” but when you look inside the product description at the “important Information” section you’ll see this partial ingredient list

Ingredients  Strawberries: Dark Chocolate(sugar,palm kernel, partially hydrogenated palm oil, cocoa”

It’s not even a complete ingredient list, but what is there shows the product can not legally be called chocolate because there is no cocoa butter.

The second product that shows up under the “chocolate covered strawberries” search  has the title “Six Swizzeled ‘N Sweet Berries” , and the following in the important information section:

 “Ingredients
Strawberries, sugar, palm kernel and partially hydrogenated palm oils, cocoa (processed with potassium carbonate), partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, whey, nonfat milk, sorbitan monostearate and mono and diglyceride and soya lecithin emulsifiers, natural and artificial flavor, salt, pure vanilla, vanillin (an artifical flavor), artificial color (titanium dioxide).”

Read it carefully, there is no cocoa butter, no milk, white or dark chocolate.. yet they have submitted it under the search term “chocolate covered strawberries”. The merchants select their search terms on Amazon, so the person that submitted the ad wanted you to believe it was chocolate… at least they used the term “swizzeled”, it’s slang for “ripped off” in some parts of the world.

Another random example is product number 12, labeled “One Dozen Strawberry Roses®”,

Product Description: Our signature gift! Each Chocolate Dipped Strawberry is set on a handmade stem with silk rose leaves and arranged with baby’s breath and fern. The bouquet is delivered in an elegant gold box with a red bow. This is a unique, one-of-a-kind gift.

But when you look at the ingredients again… you see palm kernel, cottonsead and soybean oils, not even close to chocolate. (a quick note… the semi sweet chocolate listed is the mini chocolate chips on the front of some of thier berries, the actual substancet they dip it in is listed first (all the other oils). At least this has a minor amount of chocolate even if it’s just in the few mini chocolate chips on the fronts of some of the berries.

 Ingredients
Strawberries, sugar, palm kernel and partially hydrogenated palm oils, cocoa (processed with potassium carbonate), partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, whey, nonfat milk, sorbitan monostearate and mono and diglyceride and soya lecithin emulsifiers, natural and artificial flavor, semisweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, dextrose), almonds, coconut, water, propylene glycol, salt, sodium metabisulfite, pure vanilla, vanillin, artificial color (titanium dioxide).

Most (but not all) of the false advertising found with this seach on Amazon.com  are all segments of the same company, the product names, descriptions and ingredient lists are the property of Shari’s Berries®, they are owned by the same people as Secret Spoon Sweets®, and a few other brands…..

In the chocolate inductry there is one simple rule: if there is no cocoa butter you can’t call it chocolate, yet somehow these people are ignoring the FDA rules on what is allowed to be called chocolate.

This entry was posted in Chocolate History & News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.