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Kroger is facing the heat in a false advertising consumer class action lawsuit alleging its “Aloe Vera After Sun Gel” contains no actual Aloe Vera at all.

Plaintiff Alex Kocoglu filed the Kroger Aloe Vera Sun Gel class action lawsuit hoping to stop the grocery chain from misleading consumers by labeling its skin gel as containing “Aloe and/or Aloe Barbadensis Leaf” as an ingredient in the product.

Aloe Vera gel is made from an extract of the leaf of the Aloe Vera plant. Aloe Barbadensis is the scientific name of an aloe plant species that is widely used in the manufacturing of consumer products. Aloe Vera is used in many products marketed for recuperative, burn and/or sunburn relief. It is also a popular folk remedy, believed by some to treat everything from hypertension to the common cold when ingested.

In 2017, Kocoglu purchased Kroger’s Aloe Vera After Sun Gel at a Ralphs store in Los Angeles. He says he opted for this particular product because he wanted a product with Aloe Vera for its recuperative skin-healing and sunburn-relief qualities. According to the 25-page complaint, the front label of Kroger Aloe Vera After Sun Gel bottle says the product “helps to soothe sunburned skin, cools, moisturizes & refreshes with aloe vera.” Additionally, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf is listed as the ninth ingredient on the back of the product labeling.

However, in reality, according to independent lab tests, Kroger’s Aloe Vera After Sun Gel, the product contains no actual Aloe Vera at all. Kocoglu’s attorneys had Kroger’s Aloe Vera After Sun Gel tested utilizing proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (H-NMR), and the results indicate that the product does not contain any Aloe Vera or Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice. Furthermore, Acemannan, a signature Aloe Vera chemical component that indicates the presence of Aloe, was not even detected in the sample of Kroger’s Aloe Vera After Sun Gel product.

Essentially, Kocoglu asserts that he and other consumers have been duped by Kroger’s purported misleading and false advertising of Aloe Vera After Sun Gel, paying money for a product that does not even contain the primary ingredient customers are buying it for.

“The difference between the Product promised the Product sold is significant. The lack of Aloe Vera in the Product diminishes its value to zero. Consumers, including the Plaintiff and Class Members, would not have purchased the Product had they know the Product contains no detectable amount of aloe.”

Kocoglu is seeking to represent a Class of consumers who since 2014 have purchased Kroger’s Aloe Vera After Sun Gel in California. Among monetary relief, the lawsuit is asking the court to forbid Kroger from misrepresenting their products contain aloe vera, aloe gel, or Aloe Barbadensis Leaf and provide a notice to consumers who already bought the product.

Kocoglu and the proposed Class are represented by Gerald B. Malanga of Lattie Malanga Libertino LLP and Alice A. Curry of the Law Office of Alice A. Curry.

The Kroger Aloe Vera Sun Gel Class Action Lawsuit is Alex Kocoglu v. The Kroger Co., et al., Case No. 2:18-cv-02132, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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