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Claim 5 million! Starbucks charges for changing plant milk!

Published: 2024-05-20 Author:
Last Updated: 2024/05/20, ▲ Click to follow | Daily boutique Coffee Culture Magazine Coffee Workshop recently, three consumers in California have collectively sued Starbucks, saying that it charges extra for replacing milk in drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos with vegetable milk, which constitutes discrimination against lactose intolerant people and violates the Civil Rights Act by demanding compensation of $5 million.

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Recently, three consumers in California have collectively sued Starbucks, saying it charges extra to replace milk in drinks such as lattes and Frappuccinos with vegetable milk, which discriminates against lactose intolerant people and violates the Civil Rights Act by demanding compensation of $5 million.

Maria Bollinger, Dawn Miller and Shunda Smith, three Californians from Los Angeles and Madeira, all suffer from lactose intolerance (or milk allergy) and filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in Fresno, California, earlier this month, the Guardian reported.

According to the complaint filed by the plaintiffs, they have been in the habit of spending at Starbucks since 2018, charging an extra 50 to 80 cents for each drink when it is required to replace milk with vegetable milk. As a result, they argue that "Starbucks has designed a higher-priced menu for customers who cannot drink milk" and that the extra surcharges violate the ADA and California civil rights laws.

Whole milk costs about 3-5 cents an ounce, while vegetable milk such as oatmeal, soy, coconut and almond milk costs 4-7 cents an ounce, the lawsuit said. In 2023, the average price of all Starbucks coffee and drinks was $3.25, but vegetable milk sometimes charges as much as 40% of a drink, which is clearly not in line with the cost of such vegetable dairy products.

As a result, the plaintiffs argued that Starbucks deliberately and deliberately ignored the rights of plaintiffs and lactose intolerant patients across the country, making a profit of more than $1 billion.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs also pointed out that lactose intolerance is a defect that affects 30 million to 50 million Americans under the American Persons with physical and Mental Disabilities Act. If these people eat milk or products containing milk, it will have adverse health effects, including stomachache, digestive tract inflammation, abdominal distension and vomiting, and vegetable milk is "not an option" but a necessity for them.

Starbucks representatives said the lawsuit was still ongoing and declined to comment.

However, with regard to the addition of plant milk, Starbucks said in a statement that customers in US stores can add up to 4 ounces (about 118.28 milliliters) of plant milk free of charge to coffee, tea and other blended drinks. Star gift members can also exchange 25 stars and choose to add a certain amount to any beverage without plant milk. In addition, customers can choose to add plant milk to any drink on the menu for an extra fee, just like other custom drinks, just like extra espresso or syrup.

In fact, Starbucks is not the only chain that has been sued for "charging" for plant milk. Not only did Dunkin' Donuts, a large US chain, face similar lawsuits in January, but coffee operators in many parts of the country have also been accused of charging for plant milk in recent years.

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