CAMDEN, N.J. — U.S. District Judge Joseph Irenas in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has dismissed lawsuits filed by several consumers claiming supermarkets misled them with “deceptive, false, misleading, fraudulent and unconscionable commercial practices in the sale, marketing, and advertising of bread and bakery products.”
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., Whole Foods, Inc. and Acme Markets, Inc. were hit with the false advertising class action lawsuits in December 2014 after a group of individuals called into the question the grocers’ use of the terms “store baked,” “baked in store” and “made in house.”
But in an Aug. 26 ruling, Judge Irenas found in favor of the supermarkets, saying the consumers’ lawsuits lacked specifics.
“We do not know which specific products plaintiffs purchased, whether those specific products were linked to specific signs or advertisements, and what those signs or advertisements stated,” he wrote. “We have only general allegations about the kinds of signs and advertisements defendants posted, and that, at least in the case of Whole Foods and Wegmans, plaintiffs purchased bread and bakery products from defendants’ stores on a regular basis over the last six years.“That plaintiffs claim to be ‘health conscious’ consumers is not enough. Without details as to particular misrepresentations and subsequent purchases, the complaints do not inject the kind of particularity required for fraud claims.”