Consumers are filing complaints about the absence of mango in Starbucks‘ fruit drink.

Starbucks-Becher: Streit um Inhalte

Starbucks-Becher: Streit um Inhalte

Foto: Lindsey Wasson / AP

The coffeehouse chain Starbucks is facing lawsuits from consumers in the USA because some of their fruit drinks do not actually contain the main ingredient mentioned in their name. US District Judge John Cronan in Manhattan rejected the company’s request to dismiss most of a class-action lawsuit. After all, many consumers would expect their drinks to actually contain the fruits mentioned in their name.

Customers had complained that there was no mango in Starbucks Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade and no passion fruit in Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade. Plaintiffs Joan Kominis from Astoria, New York, and Jason McAllister from Fairfield, California, claimed that the main ingredients were water, grape juice concentrate, and sugar. They argued that the names were misleading and resulted in inflated prices. This violated consumer protection laws in their respective states.

Does taste or content matter?

Starbucks claims that the product names describe the taste of the beverages rather than their ingredients. The flavor profiles are promoted on the beverage cards. Additionally, regular customers should not be confused as the staff is available to answer any questions.

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On Monday, Richter Cronan stated that unlike the term „vanilla,“ there is no indication that „mango“ or „passion fruit“ are terms that are typically understood as only referring to a flavor without actually containing the ingredient. Furthermore, confusion could indeed arise. This is because with other Starbucks products, the ingredients mentioned in the name are actually included. For example, the Ice Matcha Tea Latte does contain matcha, and the Honey Citrus Mint Tea includes honey and mint.

Gefordert wird in dem Prozess ein Schadensersatz von mindestens fünf Millionen Dollar. Der Anwalt Robert Abiri sagte, er freue sich darauf, die Gruppe der Kläger zu vertreten.