Starbucks – Underfilled Lattes

Starbucks is the subject of a class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. The lawsuit asserts that the company uniformly underfilled these types of drinks “pursuant to a standardized recipe.” The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the purchasers of Starbucks Caffe Lattes, Flavored Lattes, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Egg Nog Lattes, Skinny Lattes, Skinny Flavored Lattes, Vanilla Lattes, and Skinny Vanilla Lattes.

The lawsuit claims that the lattes are being underfilled because of a standardized recipe instituted by the company, thus causing the lattes to be underfilled by approximately 25%. This recipe/process was instituted in 2009 to save the company based on the cost of milk (one of the most expensive ingredients in the latte).

The lawsuit also claims that the cups used by Starbucks for serving lattes are too small to include the fluid ounces listed on the Starbucks menu. By using the standardized recipe (which calls for ¼ inch of space to be left at the top of the latte) there is no way the listed ounces can be included in the cup.

The company was reached for comment on the lawsuit. A representative of Starbucks stated that “We are aware of the plaintiffs’ claims, which we fully believe to be without merit. We are proud to serve our customers high-quality, handcrafted and customized beverages, and we inform customers of the likelihood of variations.”

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