Starbucks faces lawsuit for false advertising

A woman from Chicago is suing Starbucks for US$5 million for false advertising claiming that the coffee giant is under filling its beverages by adding too much ice.

Hence consumers are overpaying for their caffeine-fix.

The plaintiff Stacy Pincus, alleges that Starbucks "has engaged in the practice of misrepresenting" the amount of cold drink a customer will receive. As a result of this practice, Starbucks’ cold drinks contain "significantly less product than advertised , by design and corporate practice and procedure."

"Starbucks' advertising practices are clearly meant to mislead consumers when combined with the standard practice of filling a cold drink cup with far less liquid than the cup can hold," the lawsuit charged.

Starbucks, in a statement to Reuters, called the lawsuit “without merit”

"Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any 'iced' beverage," a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based company said.

"If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it," she added.

Starbucks is one the largest coffee retailer in the world, with more than 23 ,000 stores in over 60 countries. In the US alone, it has over 13,000 stores. In 2015, Starbucks took in approximately $19.2 billion in total revenue, a 16.5% increase from fiscal year 2014.

Sales of cold drinks account for a substantial amount of this revenue, and have become increasingly popular in recent years. In fiscal 2014, shaken iced tea Cold Drinks were the most profitable menu addition of the year, said the suit.