Kroger Sued Over ‘Simple Truth’ Chicken

Simple Truth ChickenAmerica’s largest traditional grocer, Kroger faces a lawsuit claiming it deceived consumers by selling Simple Truth Private Brand chicken as humanely raised, despite being raised under standard commercial farming conditions. The complaint, filed late on Tuesday in Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County, is seeking class-action status against the grocer for allegedly misleading California consumers.

Kroger spokesman Keith Dailey told news service Reuters on Wednesday that the company has not had an opportunity to review the lawsuit. However, 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 is produced by Perdue Farms, which has follows industry traditional industry practices.

“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.

The case is Anna Ortega v. The Kroger Co, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, No. BC536034.

The  calls to the forefront the need for clarification of many of the vague terms used in the “better for you” and “better for the world” space


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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.