A consumer has filed a putative class action against Eight O’Clock Coffee, a subsidiary of Tata Global Beverages, alleging the company sells varieties of coffee in identical bags but fills them to different levels, amounting to impermissible slack fill. Sorgenti v. Eight O’Clock Coffee Co., No. 16-6295 (S.D.N.Y., filed August 9, 2016). The complaint compares Eight O’Clock’s “iconic red flexible metallic bag” filled with 12 ounces of its basic coffee product to the “same sized bags” of its Explorations line—including 100% Colombian Peaks, Central Highlands and African Plains varieties—which contain 11 ounces of product. In addition, other product lines contain 11.5 ounces of product but are sold in the same red packaging, the plaintiff alleges.
“As a consequence, consumers are being misled into believing that they are buying a larger volume of Eight O’Clock Coffee’s specialty coffee products than is actually contained in the bag,” the complaint asserts. “And more significantly, consumers are unwittingly paying substantially more per ounce for the Eight O’Clock Coffee specialty coffee product alternatives, allowing Eight O’Clock Coffee to collect a premium that it is otherwise failing to disclose to consumers.” For alleged violations of New York’s General Business Law, the plaintiff seeks class certification, damages, an injunction and attorney’s fees.