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Starbucks fruit drinks have a grande problem: lawsuit


A federal judge in New York threw fruit at Starbucks’ attempt to avoid a lawsuit that accused the company of advertising fruit-named beverages that do not contain said fruit, and are thus in violation of consumer protection laws, according to Reuters.

In the complaint, accessed by the wire service, Starbucks’ Mango Dragonfruit, Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade, Pineapple Passionfruit, Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade, Strawberry Açai and Strawberry Açai Lemonade Refreshers do not contain any of the advertised mango, passion fruit or açai.

Starbucks served up a request to dismiss nine of the 11 claims in the proposed class action, saying “a significant portion of reasonable consumers” would expect their drinks to contain fruit mentioned in their names, according to Reuters. The company also said while the products do not contain fruit, they are fruit-flavored. 

In allowing the lawsuit to proceed, the judge said that “nothing before the court indicates that ‘mango,’ ‘passionfruit,’ and ‘açaí’ are terms that typically are understood to represent a flavor without also representing that ingredient.”