The coffee giant has been sued for raising the price of non-dairy drinks.
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For coffee lovers who like lattes and suffer from lactose intolerance, the emergence of non-dairy coffee drinks such as oatmeal lattes and Padan lattes makes them safe to drink without having to worry about putting a burden on their bodies. On the other hand, from a nutritional point of view, oatmeal milk is a healthy choice, so it is also welcomed by many health care workers.
As a result, driven by consumer demand, many chain coffee brands such as Starbucks and Piye have added non-dairy coffee drinks to the menu to provide consumers with a variety of choices. However, although non-dairy lattes are loved and welcomed by consumers, as far as the daily sales of coffee shops are concerned, the sales of non-dairy lattes are still lower than traditional lattes, so coffee shop operators for the sake of cost, most will increase the price of non-dairy drinks accordingly.
Recently, however, daily coffee news reported that US coffee giant Dunkin has been sued by consumers for raising the price of non-dairy drinks, arguing that Dunkin's price increase discriminates against patients with lactose allergy and lactose intolerance.
Under the American Disability Act, people with lactose allergies and lactose intolerance are disabled, so lawyers representing 10 plaintiffs accused Dunkin of imposing surcharges on non-dairy drinks in violation of the American Disability Act and laws in California, New York, Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts and Hawaii, demanding $5 million in damages from the plaintiffs.
According to the complaint, the cost of lactose-containing milk is not materially different from that of non-dairy milk, but when consumers with lactose allergy or lactose intolerance choose non-dairy products such as soybeans, oats, coconut or almond milk instead, Dunking charges them an additional surcharge of 50 cents to $2.15, which is undoubtedly a kind of discrimination for people with lactose allergy and lactose intolerance. Think of it as a high-priced menu for consumers who can't drink milk.
This situation is not alone in the United States. Starbucks, another coffee giant in the United States, also faced consumer charges in 2022 for raising the price of non-dairy drinks, arguing that the price increase violated the American Disability Act. the class action lawsuit is still pending in the District Court of Florida and has no corresponding decision.
From the consumer's point of view, there is little difference in the cost of lactose milk and non-dairy milk, and coffee shops should not charge them extra fees. Various animal protection and environmental protection groups in the United States are also opposed to coffee shop operators raising the price of non-dairy drinks.
Some netizens believe that Dunkin can also use oatmeal milk as the default milk option for US stores like other coffee chains such as Blue bottle Coffee, so that it will not be sued by consumers.
So far, Dunking has not responded to daily coffee news on the matter.
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