Albert Heijn takes misleading product award for claim about chicken

Chicken sold by supermarket chain Albert Heijn has won this year’s award for the most deceptive food marketing, in a contest organised by animal rights lobby group Wakker Dier.

Albert Heijn, which was given the title in 2017 for falsely claiming its serrano ham came from free-range pigs, made the short list this year for saying chickens it sells ‘have more space’. Wakker Dier claims the supermarket, with 16 chickens to one square metre, is packing in the animals more tightly than any other food store.

‘This is a clear message to Albert Heijn that its customers won’t swallow PR guff,’ spokeswoman Anne Hilhorst said. Albert Heijn won 7,000 of the 19,000 votes cast.

The annual competition, now in its 11th year, is meant to highlight misleading claims about animal welfare. Last year Rabobank won the title for a television advert claiming the bank was going to boost agriculture sustainability, while investing billions in factory farming.

Also among this year’s contenders for the greatest Liegebeest (a play on lying and animal: a Liegebeest is a liar in Dutch) was ‘tenderly produced’ Milka chocolate, Jumbo goat’s cheese and the ‘wonderful, stress free life’ of Irish cattle touted by Irish government promotional body Bord Bia.

McDonalds was removed from the shortlist after amending its misleading advertising last week.

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