Challenging Trader Joe’s Misleading Egg Carton Labeling
Carolyn Claybaugh v. Trader Joe's Co.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Trader Joe’s Company on behalf of a Trader Joe’s egg purchaser, seeking to stop Trader Joe’s from deceptively labeling its cage-free eggs and misleading consumers seeking eggs.
Trader Joe’s agreed to change their packaging nationally
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a consumer protection lawsuit in California Superior Court against Trader Joe’s Company on behalf of a Trader Joe’s egg purchaser. The action sought to stop Trader Joe’s from deceptively labeling its cage-free eggs and misleading consumers seeking eggs from hens raised in more natural, less cruel conditions.
Trader Joe’s Cage-Free eggs came packaged in cartons emblazoned with images of hens foraging outdoors in green, wide-open pastures. But in reality, these eggs were produced by hens who spend their entire lives inside massive industrial hen houses without any outdoor access. Hens are packed into warehouses with thousands of other birds and never set foot in grass or engage in their natural behaviors outdoors. The lawsuit contended that the images used on the package misled consumers about the conditions in which hens were raised.
In response to the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s action, Trader Joe’s pulled the misleading packaging not only in California, but nationwide, and the case was swiftly resolved.
Who is being sued, why, and under what law? Trader Joe’s for violating California consumer protection laws.
Why this case is important: Growing demand for eggs produced in less abusive conditions has led to a proliferation of terms and labels designed to entice consumers. But these many terms can be confusing — sometimes purposefully so. Additionally, misleading imagery on egg packaging can further confuse shoppers. Some retailers are exploiting this demand by exaggerating the quality of cage-free hens’ living conditions. The Animal Legal Defense Fund aims to stop this misleading, illegal conduct — to protect egg-laying hens and ensure consumers can make choices based on truthful information.
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