Tender & True Pet Nutrition faces a proposed class action over its allegedly unlawful and deceptive sale of Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe dry cat food in oversized packaging that is secretly half empty.
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The 21-page case accuses the pet food company of violating California law by packaging the product with an unacceptable amount of non-functional empty space, known as “slack-fill.”
According to the lawsuit, Tender & True misleads consumers into believing that each bag of Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe dry cat food contains an amount of product commensurate with the size of the container. By doing so, the company “dupes” unsuspecting shoppers into paying a premium for significantly less cat food than they expected to receive, the complaint contends.
The filing goes on to explain that consumers have no way of knowing the defendant underfills its containers, given that the product is sold in opaque packaging and its front label lacks any meaningful indication as to how much cat food is to be expected, such as a fill line.
“Even if a reasonable consumer were to ‘shake’ the Product before opening the container, the reasonable consumer would not be able to discern the presence of any nonfunctional slack-fill, let alone the significant amount of nonfunctional slack-fill that is present in the product,” the suit says.
Although federal law allows for a certain amount of slack-fill if the space serves a particular purpose—such as to protect the contents of the container or accommodate packaging machines—Tender & True’s cat food is filled to less than its capacity for no legitimate reason, the case claims.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone who purchased Tender & True Pet Nutrition’s Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe dry cat food in California for personal use within the past four years.
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