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Wonka: Mollie's sweet shop owner to pay £10k over fake chocolate bars

Taken from | Author: Adam Hale | Date: 19 August 2023

A sweet shop owner has been told to pay £10,000 after selling "Wonka" bars deemed an "imminent safety risk" to people with allergies.

Alan Price did not have permission to use the name Wonka, associated with the character created by author Roald Dahl.

Powys council said allergen information for milk and soya was not in the right format on the chocolate's wrapper.

But the owner ignored warnings and continued selling it from Mollie's Sweet Shops in Wales and England.

Mr Price owns stores in Newtown, Powys, as well as in Chester, Ludlow and Telford.

He pleaded guilty to 10 charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Food Information (Wales) Regulations 2014 in a prosecution led by Powys council's trading standards.

Llandrindod Wells magistrates' court heard on 16 August that the Wonka logo is a registered trade mark, meaning it is an offence to use it on any product without it being licensed by the trade mark's owner.

Mr Price was said to be responsible for the application of the Wonka logo onto the chocolate bar labels.

The trade mark's owner is Italian chocolate manufacturer Ferrero.

'Imminent safety risk'

The council said that not putting allergen information on the chocolate bar's label "posed an imminent safety risk to people who have allergies to milk and soya".

It said a trading standards officer offered advice and guidance to Mr Price's business "on numerous occasions and had given many chances for Mollie's to comply with the law".

Mr Price's business had given assurances that all Wonka bars had been removed from sale in all Mollie's shops.

But he was taken to court after the bars were found being sold at his outlets in Cheshire and Shropshire.

The council said Mr Price was fined £7,200 for the offences and ordered to pay £3,000 costs and a £190 victim surcharge.

Council cabinet member Richard Church said: "This case demonstrates the value of the work that trading standards does.

"It is their aim to protect members of the public who suffer from allergies, at the same time trading standards are protecting brand holders to ensure a wider resilient and healthy economy.

"Despite attempts by trading standards to provide advice and guidance to the business owner, this was ignored, which is why this case was brought to court."

Wonka movie

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the 1964 children's novel by Cardiff-born author Roald Dahl, featured fictional Wonka bars, made by eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka.

The character is to appear again in an upcoming Wonka movie, featuring Timothée Chalamet as the titular character.

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