ERSP Finds Green Chef Can Support Certain Claims for its Meal Delivery Service, Recommends Marketer Modify or Discontinue Other Claims

New York, NY – Sept. 19, 2018 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Green Chef, Inc. can support certain claims for its meal delivery service, but recommended the marketer modify or discontinue other claims.

ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to an anonymous competitor challenge.

ERSP reviewed online advertising claims that included:

  • “Organic Meal Kits”
  • “Green Chef is proud to be USDA-certified organic” 
  • “90% or more organic ingredients”
  • “The leading organic meal kit company”

The challenger argued that certain claims on Green Chef’s website and in social media advertisements implied that all of Green Chef’s meal kits and all individual meals/ingredients included within them are organic. The challenger also contested Green Chef’s use of the organic seal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic seal, and the claims that they offered 90% or more organic ingredients. The challenger argued that certain comparative claims implied that Green Chef meal kits had the most organic ingredients.

At the outset of the inquiry, the marketer informed ERSP that it made several voluntary changes to its marketing, including the discontinuance of claims that expressly stated or implied Green Chef meals always contain 90% or more organic ingredients. During the course of ERSP’s review, Green Chef stated that the company would be working with California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), a USDA-accredited certifying agent, and modifying some of the advertising claims that were subject to the ERSP inquiry.

After reviewing the claims on the Green Chef website and social media advertisements, ERSP determined that the marketer’s reference to organic meals and organic ingredients in the original advertising at issue, including the use of the USDA organic seal, in some instances, inaccurately communicated that Green Chef meal kits were entirely organic, or contained almost all organic ingredients. ERSP recommended that the marketer include clear and conspicuous language regarding which ingredients are organic or explaining the sourcing of the organic ingredients to reduce consumer confusion.

In regards to comparative claims, ERSP determined that the marketer could make truthful and accurate claims about their ingredients and USDA certification. However, ERSP determined that the marketer could not make unqualified superiority claims. Furthermore, ERSP determined that the marketer did not have sufficient evidence to support the implied message that it delivers the most organic ingredients compared to other meal delivery kit companies.

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “Green Chef values the collaboration with ERSP in the self-regulatory process, and further appreciates ERSP’s acknowledgment of Green Chef’s well-intentioned marketing and advertising efforts.  Green Chef’s mission is to provide its customers with the highest quality products and service, which includes truthful and transparent advertising and maintaining the company’s organic certification.  In addition to the changes Green Chef proactively implemented, Green Chef will take ERSP’s proposed recommendations into account as Green Chef works with its organic certifying agency, the CCOF, to modify language consistent with Green Chef’s regulatory requirements and CCOF certification guidelines”