Kroger has been accused of misleading the public on the way its Simple Truth chicken product has been marketed

Kroger has been accused of misleading the public on the way its Simple Truth chicken product has been marketed

Kroger has said it will "vigorously" defend itself against claims the US retail giant has misled with consumers over how the chickens sold under its Simple Truth label have been raised.

A lawsuit allegest the grocer inaccurately labelled the Simple Truth chicken product as being raised in "a humane environment" that is "cage-free".

The suit, filed in California, said: "This is a proposed class action against Kroger for misleading consumers about the purportedly 'humane' treatment of its store-brand chickens, and for deceptively claiming its chickens are raised 'cage free' in violation of California consumer protection laws and California common law - when in fact every meat chicken in the country is raised cage free."

Kroger is accused of "looking to profit from growing consumer awareness of, and concern with, the treatment of farm animals raised for meat production".

The lawsuit added: "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'. In fact, Simple Truth chickens are treated no differently than other mass-produced chickens on the market. Kroger's claim that its chickens are raised 'in a humane environment' is false, deceptive, and misleading, and Kroger's claim that its chickens are 'cage free' is used by Kroger in a way that is deceptive and misleading."

Speaking to just-food today (13 February), a spokesperson for Kroger said the company had not "had an opportunity to review the lawsuit."

"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," he added.