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Chocolate Fondue is Candy, Not Food


 Chocolate fondue: candy or food?

We people tend to tell ourselves stories. For example, if we feel guilty consuming candy, we tell ourselves that when we eat chocolate fondue, we’re not really eating candy. We’re eating food, a gourmet desert. And we’re happy.

No more, says the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Compliance Review and Interpretations Committee (CIRC). Chocolate fondue is candy, not a food. As such, it is subject to the higher rate of sales tax that typically applies to candy and other “sinful” items, such as alcohol and cigarettes.

The CRIC was asked to rule on the candyness of chocolate fondue by Mr. Timothy Larsen of Scentsy, Inc, a New Jersey company that sells fondue chocolate pouches through home fondue parties. Scentsy argued that since the chocolate pouches need to be heated and then poured into a warming dish, it is “not readily consumable without additional preparatory steps which cause it to be treated as a food item for home consumption.” Not a candy.

The CRIC didn’t bite. Instead, it determined the following:

“Chocolate fondue meets the definition of candy because it contains a sweetener, is combined with chocolate or other ingredients or flavorings, does not contain flour, does not require refrigeration and is sold in the form of bars, drops or pieces.” The wafers that are initially put in the plastic bags that get heated are “’pieces’ of chocolate.”

In Streamlined Sales Tax states, therefore, chocolate fondue is candy. But it's still good.

Now pass me a strawberry and get out of my way.

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photo credit: Lin Pernille Photography LLC via photopin cc


Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.