Lorna Doone Class Action Alleges Cookies Not Made With Butter

Lorna Doone Class Action Alleges Cookies Not Made With Butter

Freshly baked shortbread cookies sprinkled with powdered sugar.
(Photo Credit: Marie C Fields/Shutterstock)

Lorna Doone Butter Class Action Lawsuit Overview:

  • Who: Plaintiff Zilphia Howze has filed a class action lawsuit against Mondelēz Global LLC.
  • why: Howze alleges Lorna Doone shortbread cookies are not made with butter despite the expectation from consumers that shortbread products contain butter.
  • Where: The Lorna Doone class action lawsuit was filed in New York federal court.

Mondelēz Global LLC makes Lorna Doone shortbread cookies without the butter ingredient that consumers expect, according to a class action lawsuit filed May 11 in New York federal court.

Shortbread was invented in Scotland centuries ago, according to the Lorna Doone class action lawsuit. The shortbread name is derived from its short (crumbly) structure, which is a result of a high proportion of fat that inhibits gluten and allows the dough to rise.

Baked goods labeled as shortbread have three primary ingredients: sugar, butter and wheat flour. The Lorna Doone class action lawsuit points to several dictionary definitions of shortbread, all of which state that butter is a primary ingredient.

Lorna Doone Class Action Says Consumers Expect Shortbread Cookies to Contain Butter

Plaintiff Zilphia Howze says that consumers expect foods identified as shortbread to contain butter. However, Lorna Doone shortbread cookies do not contain any butter. Instead, they contain vegetable shortening in the form of canola oil and palm oil, according to the class action lawsuit.

“The result of substituting vegetable oils for butter is that the Product lacks the nutritional, organoleptic and sensory attributes of shortbread,” Howze alleges.

To create the buttery taste, Mondelēz allegedly uses artificial flavoring to imitate the flavor of butter.

Howze points to the front label of the Lorna Doone package, which describes the product as a “Shortbread Cookie” not a “Shortbread-Flavored Cookie” or “Shortbread-Style Cookie.” Based on this labeling, consumers would assume the Lorna Doone cookies are made with butter and would not be likely to double-check the ingredients list, she says.

Other brands of shortbread cookies contain butter as an ingredient even if it is not the exclusive shortening ingredient, the Lorna Doone class action lawsuit asserts.

“Consumers expect shortbread cookies, especially where the labeling invokes Scottish themes, through the Lorna Doone name and plaid packaging to contain butter,” Howze says in the lawsuit.

She filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of herself and others who purchased Lorna Doone shortbread cookies in New York, Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico, Maine and Louisiana.

The Lorna Doone class action lawsuit asserts claims for violations of state consumer protection laws, consumer fraud acts, breach of express warranty, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and unjust enrichment.

A consumer filed a similar Lorna Doone class action lawsuit last fall in illinois.

What do you think of the allegations that Lorna Doone shortbread cookies do not contain butter? Join the discussion in the comments below!

the Lorna Doone Cookies Butter Class Action Lawsuit is Zilphia Howze, et al. v. Mondelz Global LLC, case no. 1:22-cv-00351, in the US District Court for the Western District of New York.

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