Kroger is facing a lawsuit over claims that it deceived consumers by marketing its store brand of chicken as humanely raised chicken products when the animals were raised under standard commercial farming. Reuters reports that the complaint was filed on Tuesday in Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County. The case, Anna Ortega v. The Kroger Co., is seeking class-action status against Kroger for allegedly misleading California consumers with claims about the grocer's "Simple Truth" premium-priced store brand of chicken.
Kroger spokesman Keith Dailey told Reuters on Wednesday that the company has not had an opportunity to review the lawsuit.
Dailey said, "What we have on our Simple Truth chicken label is information for our customers that we believe is accurate, and we intend to vigorously defend our label."
The "Simple Truth" chicken products were packaged with labeling that stated the animals were raised "in a humane environment" and "cage free," according to the lawsuit.
"Looking to profit from growing consumer awareness of, and concern with, the treatment of farm animals raised for meat production, Kroger engaged in a deceptive and misleading marketing scheme to promote its 'Simple Truth' store brand chicken as having been sourced from chickens raised 'cage free in a humane environment'," according to the complaint. "In fact, Simple Truth chickens are treated no differently than other mass-produced chickens on the market."