Buffalo Wild Wings Class Action Says Boneless Wings Are Falsely Advertised
Halim v. Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. et al.
Filed: March 10, 2023 ◆§ 1:23-cv-01495
A class action claims Buffalo Wild Wings has misled consumers into believing its boneless wings are actually deboned chicken wings.
A proposed class action claims Buffalo Wild Wings has misled consumers into believing its boneless wings are actually deboned chicken wings, when in truth they’re merely “slices of chicken breast meat deep-fried like wings.”
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The 22-page complaint says Buffalo Wild Wings’ boneless wings are more akin to “a chicken nugget rather than a chicken wing” made entirely of wing meat. Reasonable consumers value actual chicken wings, and Buffalo Wild Wings has no reason to mislead patrons “other than to promote a cheaper product along with its actual chicken wings,” the suit alleges.
The filing contends that if Buffalo Wild Wings and parent company Inspire Brands were to be transparent with customers, they could change the name of the restaurant chain’s boneless “wings,” or disclose on the menu, like they do for other dishes, that the item is actually made of chicken breast meat. Per the suit, the chain restaurant is “well aware of this issue, but has refused to change its practices.”
“This clear-cut case of false advertising should not be permitted, as consumers should be able to rely on the plain meaning of a product’s name and receive what they are promised,” the suit argues.
According to the suit, the sale of boneless chicken “wings” made from breast meat stems from the rising costs of actual chicken wings and the decreasing cost of chicken breast. The spike in chicken wing prices was recognized by a Buffalo Wild Wings logistics and purchasing manager who stated that poultry processors, staring down ballooning costs, are effectively “throwing their hands in the air and saying, ‘I don’t know what’s going on. We’ve never seen it this way,’” the lawsuit shares.
Put simply, the case relays, profit is the primary motive for Buffalo Wild Wings to “purposefully mislead consumers” with regard to its sale of boneless “wings.”
The filing relays that some Buffalo Wild Wings competitors, such as Domino's and Papa Johns, also sell boneless wings yet "choose to play by the rules" by naming and marketing the item accurately.
“It should be noted that Domino’s Pizza and Papa Johns also sell actual chicken wings, and that, a restaurant named Buffalo Wild ‘Wings’ should be just as careful if not more in how it names its products.”
The lawsuit looks to cover all persons in the United States who, within the relevant statutory period, bought any boneless wings at Buffalo Wild Wings.
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