Dunkin’ Donuts finds itself in sticky trouble today as suit was filed against it for failing to put enough jelly in its jelly doughnuts. The class action, filed on behalf of all similarly aggrieved individuals, was filed by local attorney Harlan Wittenstein.
Charging that the doughnuts are no longer “jelly filled” as they used to be, but are now merely “jelly flavored,” Wittenstein said, “Consumers are sick and tired of being short-changed on the jelly.”
Wittenstein admitted that the recent Starbucks lawsuit over putting too much ice in the iced coffee was the inspiration for going forward with the food-fleecing lawsuit. “If Starbucks can be sued for putting too much ice in the iced coffee,” he continued, “then certainly Dunkin’ can be sued for not enough jelly.”
“I mean, let’s face it,” Wittenstein said comparing the two suits, “you can always ask for less ice in the coffee cup, but how the hell are you going to get more jelly in the doughnut?”
For the past 10 years, plaintiff Beignet Sinker has purchased jelly doughnuts from Dunkin’ and found herself repeatedly chagrined by the diminished jelly, according to the suit. So rather than buying her doughnuts elsewhere, Sinker decided to take legal action.
The class action lawsuit in New York’s Supreme Court accuses the doughnut maker of false advertising, fraud, and unjust enrichment. It calls Dunkin’s jelly doughnuts “defective and deficient due to their skimpy, scanty, paltry, pitiful, meager and otherwise insufficient quantities of jelly within each said doughnut unit.”
The suit calls for $42 million in damages on behalf of herself and the millions of Americans who have purchased a Dunkin’ jelly doughnut over the past 10 years.
The defective jelly issue is very well known to Dunkin’, as this NSFW viral 2012 video from Angry Grandpa makes abundantly clear.
In an email to me, a Dunkin’ spokesman said he was aware of Sinker’s suit, but that they had not yet been served with the papers. He went on to say, “We put exactly the amount of jelly in our donuts that we think they deserve. If Sinker doesn’t like it, she can start her own donut store. We’ll be happy to open a franchise next door to see who is favored by the public. We’ll even give away free samples for awhile to make sure people taste ours.”
The Dunkin’ spokesman also insisted that if he was being quoted, that doughnut be spelled “donut.”
The suit looks to me like a good one. It’s about time, after all, that consumers spending hard-earned money get what they paid for — more jelly in our doughnuts.
While some may want to demonize this suit as part of the problem of overzealous lawyering, perhaps we should step back and salute this woman for her courage taking a stand and risking her name and reputation taking on this giant food conglomerate.
Dunkin’ Brands, after all, also owns Baskin-Robbins, which has been rumored to face accusations of diminishing chip size in its legendary chocolate chip ice cream. A success with either Starbucks or Dunkin’ would seem to benefit millions of consumers in a wide variety of claims against food-fleecing companies affecting the quality of their purchases.
Addendum 2: Starbucks Iced Coffee Lawsuit – A Rebuttal