Godiva Chocolatiers sued for alleged false advertising

EXETER TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- The Godiva Chocolatier Company has two manufacturing facilities.

One in Belgium, while the other inside a large building in Exeter Township, Berks County.

The existence of that second facility is at the heart of a class action lawsuit filed against the world famous chocolate-makers.

Many of the Godiva products sold in the US are made here in Exeter Township, and the plaintiffs claim that the labels reading "Belgium 1926" with no mention of it being made in Berks County is tantamount to false advertising.

The complaint reads in part, "...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."

Officials from Godiva say they can not comment specifically about pending litigation, but they released a statement reading, in part, that after nearly a century in business, "... 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..."

We asked people here in this part of Berks County if they think this lawsuit has any merit.

Opinions were mixed.

Ann Merritt-Foulkes of Reading says, "Everything again is about money and now they're running after them. And now they're trying to take, I don't know if they're trying to take over their name, but the fact of the matter is this company has been here such a long time."

But John Thompson of Birdsboro has a different take.

He says, "I look at many instances where they put out a lot of hypothetical situations and so forth and say it's one thing and it's really another. I think this is one of those cases."

The plaintiffs are demanding a jury trial and they are seeking $5 million in damages.
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