It's the second blueberry-based lawsuit the coffee and pastry chain has faced.
When you make a quick stop at Dunkin’ Donuts and order a blueberry-filled donut with your morning coffee, you expect there will be blueberries in it. Turns out that some of those “blueberries” are just blue-dyed flavor crystals and some customers are ticked off about it.
Now, a customer has filed suit against the chain alleging misrepresentation on the grounds that its Blueberry Butternut Cake, Blueberry Cake Donut, and Blueberry Crumb Cake donuts do not contain actual blueberries, but instead use sugar and corn syrup crystals that were dyed blue, as Delish reports. “Due to their blue color and round shape, the ‘flavor crystals’ and ‘blueberry flavored bits’ are inserted strategically on the inside and outside of the Blueberry Products to induce unsuspecting consumers into believing that the products contain actual blueberries,” according to the lawsuit. The suit, which was filed in the district court for Northern Illinois, alleges that Dunkin’ violated Illinois’ Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act by misrepresenting the blueberries in its donuts, donut cakes, and donut holes, and cheating customers out of money they would have otherwise spent on products with real blueberries.
Dunkin does use some real blueberries, though. Their muffins are packing the real stuff, which adds to the consumer confusion, according to the lawsuit. Products with imitation blueberries are on display with products with actual blueberries, and labeled with the word "blueberry". According to the complaint, the customer "would have paid significantly less for the Products," if he had known that he was ponying up 99¢ for fake blueberries instead of real ones. That’s where the monetary damages come in. "Plaintiff therefore suffered injury in fact and lost money as a result of Defendant's misleading, false, unfair, and fraudulent practices," the lawsuit reads. The suit is seeking $5 million in damages, restitution, and court fees.
As Consumerist points out, this isn’t the first time that a donut shop has been in the hot seat for skimping on blueberries. Back in 2016, a fruit-deprived customer filed suit against Krispy Kreme for failing to include real blueberries in their “Glazed Blueberry Cake” flavor donuts and skipping the raspberries in their “Chocolate Iced Raspberry Filled” donuts. According to the complaint, which was filed in District Court in California, the customer apparently had been relying on the fruit in his donuts to give him the RDA of “Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, and dietary fiber” and was horrified to learn that he had been robbed by the faux raspberries and imitation blueberries. The suit was voluntarily dismissed in April.
Earlier this year another lawsuit claimed Dunkin' Donuts' "steak" sandwich was just plain old ground beef. It seems the donut chain just can't catch a break from its all-too-clever customers.