Starbucks Faces Lawsuit Over Fruit Drink Ingredient Claims

Starbucks is facing legal action in the USA over allegations that some of its fruit-based drinks lack the primary ingredients suggested by their names. This has prompted consumers to file a class-action lawsuit against the coffee house chain.

US District Judge John Cronan in Manhattan recently denied Starbucks’ request to dismiss a significant portion of the class-action lawsuit.

Consumers had raised concerns that Starbucks’ beverages, such as Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade and Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade, did not actually contain mango or passion fruit as expected. Instead, the main ingredients listed were water, grape juice concentrate, and sugar.

The plaintiffs, Joan Kominis from Astoria, New York, and Jason McAllister from Fairfield, California, argued that Starbucks’ product names were deceptive and resulted in overpriced drinks, thus violating consumer protection laws in their respective states.

Starbucks contended that these product names were meant to describe the flavors of the drinks rather than their exact ingredients. Additionally, the company pointed out that the flavors were prominently displayed on the drink menus, and Starbucks employees were available to address any customer inquiries.

However, Judge Cronan disagreed with Starbucks’ defense. He noted that unlike terms like “vanilla,” which have been the subject of previous lawsuits, there was no clear indication that the terms “mango” or “passion fruit” were typically understood to refer solely to flavor and not the actual ingredients.

Furthermore, confusion might arise because some other Starbucks products do indeed contain the ingredients listed in their names, such as the Ice Matcha Tea Latte Matcha and Honey Citrus Mint Tea, which include honey and mint.

The lawsuit is seeking damages of at least five million dollars (approximately 4.69 million euros). Attorney Robert Abiri expressed his eagerness to represent the plaintiffs’ group in this case.

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