An Illinois man is launching a class-action lawsuit against Buffalo Wild Wings for false advertising, alleging the restaurant's boneless wings are not actually chicken wings at all.
Per the suit, the menu item's name and description "leads reasonable consumers to believe the products are actually chicken wings."
"The products are more akin, in composition, to a chicken nugget rather than a chicken wing," said the suit, filed in federal court last week. "This clear-cut case of false advertising should not be permitted, as consumers should be able to rely on the plain meaning of a product's name and receive what they are promised."
Buffalo Wild Wings, now headquartered in Atlanta, was long based in the Twin Cities and maintains a corporate presence here. The Inspire Brands-owned company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
However, the company appeared to allude to the lawsuit in a tweet Monday, writing: "It's true. Our boneless wings are all white meat chicken. Our hamburgers contain no ham. Our buffalo wings are 0% buffalo."
As the price of traditional chicken wings have risen in recent decades — and especially throughout the past few years — many companies and consumers have embraced "boneless" alternatives. A 2020 survey from the National Chicken Council found just more than half of Americans prefer boneless to bone-in wings.
But because of the labeling and description of the boneless offerings at Buffalo Wild Wings, Aimen Halim, who filed the lawsuit, alleged he and others "paid a premium price for the products but did not obtain the full value of the products as represented."
The suit points out companies like Domino's and Papa Johns call their breaded, boneless, white-meat chicken dishes "poppers" or "boneless chicken."
"Domino's Pizza and Papa Johns also sell actual chicken wings and... a restaurant named Buffalo Wild 'Wings' should be just as careful if not more in how it names its products," the complaint states. The suit makes no mention of the meatless "cauliflower wings" Buffalo Wild Wings also sells.
The class-action suit seeks unspecified restitution and monetary damages from the establishment, which has more than 1,200 locations across the U.S.