Starbucks ‘Doubleshot Espresso’ Deceptively Named, Suit Says

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By Julie A. Steinberg

Starbucks Corp.'s caffeine math doesn’t add up, according to a proposed class suit alleging ‘Doubleshot Espresso’ canned coffee drinks are deceptively named ( Wessel v. Starbucks Corp. , S.D.N.Y., No. 17-6703, complaint filed 9/1/17 ).

New Yorker Thomas Wessel alleges he and others were tricked into thinking Doubleshot Espresso products contained two shots of Starbucks espresso.

Starbucks’ website says one shot of espresso contains 75 mg of caffeine and two contain 150 mg, according to the Sept. 1 suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

But the canned coffee drinks contain between 70 mg and 110 mg of caffeine, “significantly less” than the 150 mg that would be found in two shots of Starbucks espresso, the suit says.

The suit joins others that allege companies package products to make them look like more.

Starbucks has been hit with other consumer suits challenging its coffee.

The company beat back a suit alleging it put too much ice in iced coffee drinks, but is facing a would-be class suit alleging it systematically underfills hot latte drinks.

Wessel seeks to represent a nationwide class, and a class of New Yorkers who say they overpaid for the Doubleshot drinks. They seek money damages as well as label changes.“We believe this lawsuit is without merit and look forward to presenting our case in court,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Bloomberg BNA.

Faruqi & Faruqi represents plaintiff Thomas Wessel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie A. Steinberg in Washington at jsteinberg@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at spatrick@bna.com

For More Information

The complaint is at http://src.bna.com/se3

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