Internationally recognised Belgian chocolate manufacturer Godiva has reached a $15 million (€12.9 million) settlement after US consumers said they felt misled by the international brand.
Complaints centre around the manufacturer’s widely used “Belgium 1926” slogan, which refers to the year and location where the company was founded.
However, Americans Steve Hesse and Adam Buxbaum are the latest consumers to say that this presentation of the chocolates led them to pay more for Godiva, believing them to be made in Belgium, Bloomberg reports. In reality, the production of the majority of the Godiva chocolate on sale in the US takes place in Pennsylvania.
While Godiva may have started as “an exceptional Belgian family whose passion for chocolate drove them to greatness,” the modern-day company boasts a presence in more than 100 countries worldwide,” the company’s history explains.
This isn’t the first time such an issue has been raised with the company, which has faced several lawsuits in recent years by people who claim they have been misled by the brand.
“The reasonable consumer would interpret this to mean… the contents are made in Belgium,” a 2019 suit reported on by Yahoo News 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.”
A settlement ($1.25 per Godiva chocolate product) has been reached for anyone who bought Godiva chocolate in the United States after January 31, 2015, Belga News Agency reports. The praline maker says it is prepared to pay a settlement of $15 million, according to the documents submitted. The arrangement still requires a judge’s approval.