Starbucks faces lawsuit over 'fruitless' drinks as judge allows case to proceed

A U.S. District judge in New York has ruled that a lawsuit can proceed against Starbucks after claiming that there's no actual fruit in its Refresher fruit beverages. 

The lawsuit was actually filed in August 2022 by plaintiffs Joan Kominis, of Astoria, New York, and Jason McAllister, of Fairfield, California. 

The customers claimed the coffee chain engaged in "false and deceptive practices in the marketing and sale of a number of its Starbucks Refresher Products, which are marketed as fruit-based beverages available for sale at Starbucks’ brick and mortar locations."

The beverages come in several flavors including Mango Dragonfruit, Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade, Pineapple Passionfruit, Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade, Strawberry Açai and Strawberry Açai Lemonade.

RELATED: Starbucks to overhaul iconic cup, citing sustainability and concerns for the environment

According to court documents obtained by FOX Television Stations, the customers believe the drinks are marketed as having real fruit inside the drink but that the ingredients primarily comprises "water, grape juice concentrate, and sugar."

"This is not what consumers expect when it comes to Starbucks items," the lawsuit read. "Consumers expect Starbucks’ products to live up to their name, and many of them rightfully do."

The customers accuse Starbucks of violating various business laws.

Starbucks filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying in part "no reasonable consumer would be misled."

RELATED: Starbucks celebrates 20 years of the pumpkin spice latte: Story behind the famous drink

A judge ruled that the lawsuit could continue but dismissed fraud claims, saying there's no proof that Starbucks intentionally deceived its customers. 

"The allegations in the complaint are inaccurate and without merit," a Starbucks spokesperson said in a statement to FOX Television Stations. "We look forward to defending ourselves against these claims."

This story was reported from Los Angeles.