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Reuters reports that Starbucks is facing a lawsuit charging that several of its Refresher fruit drinks don't actually contain fruit.

At issue:  "Starbucks' Mango Dragonfruit, Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade, Pineapple Passionfruit, Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade, Strawberry Açai and Strawberry Açai Lemonade Refreshers contained none of the advertised mango, passion fruit or açai," the suit says.

According to the story, "The plaintiffs Joan Kominis, of Astoria, New York, and Jason McAllister, of Fairfield, California, said the main ingredients were water, grape juice concentrate and sugar, and that Starbucks' misleading names caused them to be overcharged. They said this violated their states' consumer protection laws."

Starbucks tried to get the lawsuit tossed, but a federal judge said yesterday that "'a significant portion of reasonable consumers' would expect their drinks to contain fruit mentioned in their names."

KC's View:

I agree with the judge.  I don't drink that stuff, but my daughter and wife do, and it never occurred to me (and I suspect not to them) that they don't contain any fruit at all.

That said, my guess is that the lawsuit will be fruitless.   (Sorry.  Couldn't help myself.)  While I've always argued that products ought to always contain the ingredients mention in their names, the legal establishment hasn't always agreed.

It will be argued that no "reasonable" consumer would expect that there would be actual fruit in these drinks, and my bet is that this argument will carry the day.  It's a shame, but that seems to be how these things play out.