As foretold in a recent ClassAction.org blog post, a proposed class action has been filed on behalf of consumers who purchased “ordinary commodity coffee” that was allegedly deceptively labeled as authentic Kona coffee.
According to the lawsuit, true Kona coffee can only be grown within the 3,800-acre Kona District of Hawaii’s Big Island, where the volcanic soil, elevation, and humidity, among other factors, contribute to its distinctive flavor. The 67-page lawsuit, filed against major retailers and wholesalers such as Costco, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee, claims coffee sellers have attempted to deceive consumers by mislabeling coffee packages as authentic Kona coffee when it was not sourced from the Kona district.
“These coffee distributors, wholesalers, and retailers have taken advantage of the goodwill and reputation associated with the geographic region of Kona by passing off ordinary commodity coffee as ‘Kona’ coffee,” the complaint reads. “Consumers are paying for premium Kona coffee and believe that they are getting premium Kona coffee in the package, when the reality is that the package is filled with ordinary commodity coffee with an inflated price.”
While a previous lawsuit sought to cover a proposed class of Kona coffee growers, this lawsuit seeks to repay consumers who purchased allegedly falsely labeled “Kona” coffee that was manufactured or sold by one of the following defendants:
Costco Wholesale Corporation
Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee, Ltd., LLC
Cost Plus/World Market
Bed Bath & Beyond
BCC Assets, LLC (doing business as Boyer’s Coffee Company, Inc.)
Copper Moon Coffee, LLC
Gold Coffee Roasters, Inc.
Cameron’s Coffee and Distribution Company
Pacific Coffee, Inc.
The Kroger Co.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
Albertsons Companies, Inc.
Marmaxx Operating Corp. (doing business as T.J. Maxx and Marshalls)