17 August 2023
Selling chocolate bars that had the name ‘Wonka’ and did not have the allergen information in the correct format has cost a sweet shop owner over £10,000 after they were prosecuted by Powys County Council.
Mr Alan Price, trading as Mollies Sweet Shops, pleaded guilty to ten charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Food Information (Wales) Regulations 2014 in a prosecution led by the council’s Trading Standards Service.
On Wednesday, August 16, Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court heard that the Wonka logo is a registered trademark and it is an offence to apply it to any product without being licensed by the Trade Mark holder.
Mr Price was responsible for the application of the Wonka logo onto the chocolate bar labels, which he then supplied to his sweet shops in Newtown, Ludlow, Telford and Chester.
The court also heard that the allergen information on the label was not provided in the correct format, which posed an imminent safety risk to people who have allergies to milk and soya.
A Trading Standards Officer had offered advice and guidance to the business on numerous occasions and had given many chances for Mollies to comply with the law. The officer subsequently learned that the same product was found being offered for sale outside of Wales, despite assurances from the business that all Wonka bars had been removed from sale in all Mollies shops.
Mr Price was fined £7,200 for the offences and ordered to pay £3,000 costs and a £190 victim surcharge.
Cllr Richard Church, Cabinet Member for a Safer Powys, 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.”