Consumers have filed a putative class action against Albertson’s Inc. and Safeway Inc. alleging the companies raise prices on meat during “buy one get one free” (BOGO) deals, resulting in consumers “actually paying for the meat that is sold as ‘free’ in these special sales.” Stewart v. Albertson’s Inc., No. 16-15125 (Ore. Cir. Ct., Multnomah Cnty., filed May 4, 2016).
The complaint asserts the stores rotate BOGO offers on a number of meat products, including pork chops, chicken breast and beef sirloin, but offer the products at lower prices when they are not on special. Further, the stores “sell the same meat products at regular [loyalty card] prices that are lower than the BOGO prices. When they do this, Defendants sometimes sell the same product under different names.” The plaintiffs offer an example: “Safeway sold boneless, skinless chicken breasts to [loyalty card] members for $1.99 per pound. At the same time, Safeway sold seasoned boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $9.99 per pound in a Buy 1, Get 2 Free promotion.” In addition, “petite sirloin” is rebranded as “round tip steak,” “sirloin petite roast” or “beef sirloin petite steak boneless” when not part of a BOGO offer, the complaint alleges. These actions amount to alleged violations of Oregon consumer-protection law, the plaintiffs argue, and they seek class certification, an injunction and damages.