- In the United States of America, the coffee chain Starbucks has to face complaints from consumers because some of its fruit drinks do not contain the main ingredient that gives them their name.
- U.S. District Judge John Cronan in Manhattan denied the company’s request to dismiss the bulk of the class action lawsuit.
- After all, many consumers expect their drinks to already contain the fruits mentioned in their names.
Customers complained, among other things, about the lack of mango in the Starbucks Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade and the lack of passion fruit in the Pineapple Passion Fruit Lemonade. Plaintiffs Joan Cominis of Astoria, New York, and Jason McAllister of Fairfield, California, said the main ingredients were water, concentrated grape juice and sugar. The names were misleading and led to inflated prices. This violates their states’ consumer protection laws.
Starbucks said the product names describe the taste of the drinks, not their ingredients. Flavors are advertised on drink menus. The average customer does not have to feel confused, because employees can resolve the confusion if consumers have questions.
It’s about five million dollars in damages
However, Justice Cronan said that unlike the term “vanilla”, which has been the subject of numerous lawsuits, there is nothing to suggest that “mango” or “passion fruit” are terms usually understood to mean just flavour, without the ingredient as well actually containing it. . Additionally, there may be confusion because other Starbucks products already contain the ingredients listed in their names. Matcha Iced Tea contains matcha, while Matcha Honey Mint Tea contains honey and mint.
The lawsuit seeks damages of no less than five million dollars. Attorney Robert Abery said he looks forward to representing the group of plaintiffs.
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