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Kroger Accused of Lying About Calories in Store-Brand Products

The grocery chain has been hit with a new lawsuit over allegedly misleading calorie counts.

Whether you're trying to lose weight or just looking to be more conscious about what you're consuming, you might pay close attention to calorie counts while grocery shopping. But while we're inclined to trust the information we see on food labels, there's always the chance that the numbers are off. Now, a new lawsuit has accused Kroger of misleading shoppers by advertising the wrong calories on two store-brand breads.

RELATED: Kroger Is Adding Receipt Checks to Several Stores.

In a May 31 joint press release, the Ventura County and Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Offices announced that they had filed a civil case against The Kroger Co. in Santa Barbara Superior Court over alleged violations against California's false advertising and unfair competition laws.

The suit claims that Kroger "falsely advertised the calorie content" of its store-brand Carbmaster Wheat Bread and Carbmaster White Bread.

The prosecutors allege that from around Nov. 2018 to at least June 2022, the company "prominently advertised on the front packaging" of both Carbmaster bread products that they contained 30 calories per slice, while the Nutrition Facts labels on the back indicated that one slice actually contained 50 or more calories.

The lawsuit also claims that at some point before June 2022, Kroger was falsely advertising the calorie counts on the Nutrition Facts labels as well. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that most food packages have a Nutrition Facts label, and notes that companies are "responsible for the accuracy and the compliance of the information presented on the label" of their products.

"Consumers rely on nutritional information to make important decisions about their personal health and well-being," Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko said in a statement accompanying the release.

"For some consumers, these decisions are based upon medical necessity," he continued. "False advertising of calories can mislead, or even endanger consumers, and it provides an unfair advantage over competitors who are advertising in compliance with FDA guidelines."

RELATED: 6 Secrets Kroger Doesn't Want You to Know.

Along with the labeling, prosecutors allege that Kroger "continues to falsely advertise the incorrect, lower calorie count on some of its websites today." Both products appear to be currently listed as having 50 calories on Kroger's website, however.

"Consumers are entitled to accurate information on products, especially caloric information on food items," Santa Barbara District Attorney John Savrnoch said in a statement. "My office is committed to protecting the public by enforcing the False Advertising Law and Unfair Competition Law, and we are grateful to jointly prosecute this case with the Ventura County District Attorney's Office."

Best Life reached out to Kroger about this new lawsuit, and we will update this story with its response.

But it seems that California prosecutors are not the first to notice this issue. A May 2022 Reddit post highlighted the discrepancy between 30 calories and 50 calories for Kroger's Carbmaster White Bread, with one user saying they assumed "the calories were wrong the whole time and they're being forced to change the label."

"Even more annoyingly the packaging still says 30 calories," one user pointed out in the thread.

Another claimed that this was not the first time the grocer had done this either.

"Kroger seems to have lots of this sort of issue, they did the same thing with their Keto hamburger buns last year," the Reddit user responded. "They used to be labeled as 50 calories, but out of the blue they doubled to 100 calories each."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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