Candy purchase filled with hot air: Mike and Ike candy makers sued for half-full boxes

A movie-going candy eater filed a lawsuit against the makers of Mike and Ike candy, claiming she was ripped off.

Stephanie Escobar sat down to enjoy a movie as a Los Angeles theater.  She had just bought a box of Mike and Ike candies and discovered it was only 54% filled with candy, with the remaining space filled with air.

She says she wouldn’t have made the $4 theater purchase if she knew she was getting nearly half air in her box of candies. Escobar conducted an investigation and went on to purchase several other boxes of candies made by the manufacturer, Just Born Quality Confections, including both Mike and Ike and Hot Tamale. She discovered that each one had 46% of slack-fill, which is the candy industry term for air.

To form a basis of comparison, Escobar really did some homework. In a Fox News report on the case she said she purchased Boston Baked Beans, a peanut candy made by the Ferrara company, and found that their candy boxes were much fuller.

According to her attorney, Ryan Clarkson, this filled Escobar with “surprise and disappointment” and so she sued the candy company under California’s false advertising law, unfair competition law and the consumers legal remedies act. The lawsuit is brought on “behalf of all other purchasers of this particular product” and seeks to bring about a change in the way candy is sold and marketed.

Monetary recovery is also sought, which won’t be much for any individual customer, but her attorney notes, “From the perspective of our client alone, there’s not a lot at issue, but from the perspective of the defendant manufacturer, and the fact that they can save roughly 50% of food supply cost in every box they sell, it results in a windfall to the manufacturer.”

Matt Pye, Vice President of the Bethlehem, PA company, Just Born Quality Confections, says the company will “vigorously defend” itself against the “baseless allegations.”

“Our products and labels comply with all FDA regulations and provide consumers with the information they need to make informed purchase decisions.”