In February 2020, a class-action lawsuit
was filed alleging that Starbucks, Mars Inc., and The Quaker Oats Company misleadingly represent that the cocoa used in chocolate products – including Starbucks hot cocoa mixes, Dove chocolate, and Quaker Chocolate Chip Chewy Bars – has been sourced following ethical and environmentally responsible standards when, according to the complaint, the companies use cocoa that has been harvested using child and slave labor and farming practices that are not sustainable and cause mass deforestation. (Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint
in August 2020.) (Myers et al v. Starbucks Corp., Mars, Inc., and The Quaker Oats Company
, Case No. 20-cv-335, C.D. Cal.)
For more of TINA.org’s coverage of the marketing of chocolate products, click here.