A case picks a bone with Buffalo Wild Wings: Are ‘boneless wings’ really wings?

Can “boneless chicken wings” really be called wings?

That’s the question raised by a new class action lawsuit filed in federal court last week by a Chicago man who bought a round of boneless wings from a Buffalo Wild Wings in Mount Prospect, Illinois, in January.

Based on the name and description of the wings, the complaint states that Aimen Halim “reasonably believes the products are in fact deboned wings”, meaning they are made entirely of chicken wing meat.

But the “boneless wings” offered at Buffalo Wild Wings are not. Instead, they are made from white meat from chicken breast.

In his case, Halim claims he “wouldn’t have bought them or paid much less”. Furthermore, he claimed that the chain “deliberately, falsely, and knowingly misrepresented” its boneless wings as real chicken wings.

The only response from Buffalo Wild Wings came in the form of a tweet.

“Correct. All of our boneless wings are white meat chicken. No ham on our burgers. Our buffalo wings are 0% buffalo,” the chain wrote on Monday.

Breast meat is cheaper than bone-in chicken wings, with a difference of more than $3 per pound, according to a report by the Associated Press last month.

In fact, wings were once cheaper than breast meat. Changing litigation dates Citing a story in the 2009 New York Times about the steady popularity of chicken wings, the price gap stretches back to the Great Recession. because price-conscious consumers have stopped eating out.

At the time, chicken producers were turning to larger, hormone-packed birds, according to a 2018 report in Counter. Yet no matter how much white meat a larger chicken produced, it still only had two wings.

Halim’s lawsuit seeks a court order to immediately stop Buffalo Wild Wings from making “misleading statements” at the chain’s 1,200 locations nationwide.

The lawsuit states that some of the bar chain’s competitors, including Domino’s and Papa Johns, have referred to their chicken breast nuggets as “chicken poppers” or “boneless chicken.” “A restaurant called Buffalo Wild ‘Wings’ should be just as careful about how it names its products,” he said.

The lawsuit also seeks indefinite compensation for monetary losses suffered by Halim and all other customers of the Buffalo Wild Wings locations in Illinois.

Class action lawsuits against food and beverage companies have increased more frequently in recent years. Many people accuse packaged food products, such as those sold in grocery stores, with deceptive or misleading labels, packaging, or advertisements.

According to Perkins Coie, a law firm that tracks food and beverage litigation and represents companies, such cases have increased from 18 in 2008 to over 300 in 2021. The firm found that the number had slowed over the past year.

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