In the latest candy-related lawsuit, a California woman is suing the maker of Mike and Ike candies, claiming it “falsely and deceptively” misrepresents the amount of fruity candy each box contains.
In her lawsuit, Stephanie Escobar says she paid $4 for a box of Mike and Ike candies at a Los Angeles movie theater and was surprised and disappointed to find it was only half filled with candy, according to Time. The rest of the box allegedly contained nothing but air.
The horror! Who knew the candy at movie theater concession stands was overpriced? Who could have possibly predicted this?
This latest lawsuit is part of what The Wall Street Journal identifies as a growing trend of class-action lawsuits over portion sizes. Litigious consumers have sued over the empty space in Sour Patch Watermelon candy boxes, the true size of Subway’s “Footlong” sandwiches, and KFC’s underfilling of its eight-piece buckets of chicken.
Despite the class-action nature of these lawsuits, you probably shouldn’t expect to receive a nice, big check personally signed by Mike and Ike, even if you’ve plowed through a box of their namesake candy at every single action flick you’ve ever seen in a movie theater.
Where Are Mike And Ike In All This?
Who are Mike and Ike, anyway, and can they be brought in for questioning? Tell us about the boxes of candy, Mike and Ike!
Unfortunately, dear reader, the identities of Mike and Ike have been lost in the mists of time. Turns out the candy made its debut way back in 1940. According to the candy’s manufacturer, “Theories about the origin of the Mike and Ike brand name include a company-wide contest, a vaudeville song titled ‘Mike and Ike,’ and the ‘Ike’ Eisenhower era.”
In reality, Mike and Ike is a product of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based Just Born Quality Confections, which also manufactures Hot Tamales and marshmallow Peeps.
Escobar’s lawsuit accuses Just Born of violating California’s false advertising law, unfair competition law and the Consumers Legal Remedies Act. Her attorney told Time that she’s seeking a refund “on behalf of all other purchasers of this particular product.”
Escobar says that after her unhappy Mike and Ike surprise, she investigated further. She found that boxes of Hot Tamales were also half empty, but boxes of Boston Baked Beans, a peanut candy made by a rival company, were more full, TMZ reports.
For its part, Just Born Quality Confections says it’s going to defend itself from these “baseless allegations.”
“Our products and labels comply with all FDA regulations and provide consumers with the information they need to make informed purchase decisions,” company spokesman Matt Pye told Fox News.
As a matter of fact, according to Legal News Line, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has guidelines about how much empty space is reasonable in food packaging.
We’ll see if Mike and Ike make the cut.
Your Turn: Do you think movie theater candy is a rip-off?
Mike Brassfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. When it comes to Mike and Ike candy, he’s partial to the Berry Blast or Tropical Typhoon varieties.