Michigan AG writes to Kroger CEO over misleading cage-free egg signage, labels

Kroger says they comply with current state regulations

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The department of the Michigan Attorney General sent a letter to the CEO of Kroger Co. last week urging the company to add clear signage to their stores after a report revealed general confusion from consumers about which eggs are caged and which are cage-free.

Jason Evans, the division chief of Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Corporate Oversight Division, authored a letter to Rodney McMullen, Kroger Co. CEO, in relation to a report from Data For Progress titled “Cracking Down on Kroger.”

In the letter, Evans says that the report “indicates that Kroger shoppers are being misled into buying eggs from caged hens wrongly thinking they are cage-free.”

The report takes issue with the use of terms such as “Farm Fresh” and “Grade A” on product labels. More specifically, the report says that these terms do not have any kind of meaning when it comes to how the chickens are actually raised. Polls of Kroger customers included in the report concluded that there were “both uncertainty and misperceptions surrounding label meanings.”

In his letter to McMullen, Evans urges the company “to add clear signage to your stores to help consumers understand which eggs, exactly, came from caged chickens.”

“Grocery shoppers throughout the state should be able to decipher and trust the advertising in whichever grocer they shop,” Nessel said in a statement. “Grocers must be transparent and honest in their in-store marketing. It is troubling to read reports saying that is not what all customers are experiencing.”

Evans reminded the CEO of how important the differentiation is in Michigan as state law will prohibit the sale of eggs from caged hens beginning in 2025.

In 2016, Kroger announced their goal to be 100% cage-free by 2025, but according to the Data For Progress report, the company abandoned this goal in 2022.

Local 4 did receive a response to our request for comment from Kroger Co. Here is the statement from a Kroger spokesperson:

“The Kroger Company of Michigan complies with all current state regulations regarding the sale of egg products. All Kroger Family of Companies egg products are clearly marked and labeled for customers to readily decipher among our product selection.”

Kroger Spokesperson

Kroger was recently named one of America’s most trustworthy companies for 2023 by Newsweek. McMullen said the recognition was an honor in a company announcement.

“As an employer, food processor, retailer, healthcare provider and more, Kroger has a unique responsibility to lead with purpose and create positive change,” McMullen said in the announcement. “Being named one of the Most Trustworthy Companies is an honor we do not take for granted, and we will continue to work to earn our customers’ trust every day.”

Read the report from Data For Progress below: