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National Candy Companies Fined For Misusing “Vermont” Name

CONTACT: Elliot Burg, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5507

February 4, 2010

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has settled charges that Russell Stover Candies, Inc., and its affiliate, Whitman’s Candies, Inc., mislabeled certain of their products as “Vermont” products, when in fact the items were manufactured out of state from ingredients not known to have originated in Vermont. The settlement requires the two firms to pay civil penalties and costs to the State totaling $10,000.

Since early 2006, the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Rule (CF) 120 has prohibited the use of word “Vermont” to advertise or market a food product made outside of Vermont or containing non-Vermont primary ingredients. CF 120 was issued to ensure that Vermonters are not misled about the geographic origin of the food products they buy. A violation of the rule is considered an unfair and deceptive trade practice under the Vermont Consumer Fraud Act.

Singled out in the settlement was packaging for Russell Stover’s “Vermont Fudge Pecan Roll,” and Whitman’s “Vermont Fudge,” one of several products in the “Whitman’s Sampler” box. Russell Stover and Whitman’s offer their products at wholesale and over the Internet. The two companies sold about $10,000 (retail) worth of the mislabeled products in Vermont after the effective date of Rule 120.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.