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Tyson, Fresh Market “Prime Pork” Meat Designation Class Action

Like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market, Inc. runs stores that purport to offer fresh, high-quality foods to upscale customers. But the complaint for this class action alleges that Fresh Market and Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. have misled customers by offering something called Prime Pork, a deceptive classification of pork that has no objective standards and does not actually exist.

The class for this action is all individuals who live in the US made retail purchase of Prime Pork on or after February 1, 2017. There is a subclass of all individual who made retail purchases of Prime Pork from Fresh Market on or after May 1, 2019 in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia.

Where did the idea for Prime Pork come from? According to the complaint, in 2017, “Tyson, via its officers and directors, decided to trade off the quality and prestige of USDA Prime Beef and create a line of pork products entitled ‘Chairman’s Reserve Prime Pork … in its efforts to increase its pork sales to its retail partners.” 

Along with this decision, the complaint says, it undertook a marketing campaign to use in conjunction with retailers like Fresh Market to sell the idea to public. Fresh Market began offering the product in its stores in 2019.

According to the complaint, “The Product’s marketing, promotion, and advertising was strongly influenced by Tyson, and in some cases directly provided by Tyson, as part of a conspiracy between Tyson and Fresh Market to deceive and mislead consumers about the Product.”

The complaint alleges that Prime Pork’s “advertising and marketing led Plaintiffs and other consumers to reasonably believe that they were purchasing pork that was … graded USDA ‘Prime.’”

Some of the statements about Prime Pork quoted in the complaint seem to deliberately compare it to Prime Beef. So does the packaging depicted in the complaint. The complaint also quotes statements made in online forums showing the confusion about the pork.

 “In reality,” the complaint says, “there is no such thing as ‘Prime’ Pork. The Product is not graded by the USDA as ‘Prime.’ In fact, the USDA does not provide grads for pork in a fashion similar to beef…”

Just as consumers are willing to pay more for Prime Beef, the complaint says, consumers were misled into paying more for Prime Pork.

The complaint alleges civil conspiracy, the violation of consumer protection laws, and unjust enrichment.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Tyson, Fresh Market “Prime Pork” Meat Designation Complaint

October 15, 2019

Like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market, Inc. runs stores that purport to offer fresh, high-quality foods to upscale customers. But the complaint for this class action alleges that Fresh Market and Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. have misled customers by offering something called Prime Pork, a deceptive classification of pork that has no objective standards and does not actually exist.

fresh_market_22prime_pork22_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Tyson, Fresh Market “Prime Pork” Meat Designation Complaint

October 15, 2019

Like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market, Inc. runs stores that purport to offer fresh, high-quality foods to upscale customers. But the complaint for this class action alleges that Fresh Market and Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. have misled customers by offering something called Prime Pork, a deceptive classification of pork that has no objective standards and does not actually exist.

fresh_market_22prime_pork22_complaint.pdf
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, False Claims of Quality