California: news from the battle for the authenticity of “Kona Coffee”

In the beginning of September, the battle for the authenticity of “Kona Coffee” reached an important milestone. Safeway – a large US grocery chain which sells, among others, a product called “Select’s Whole Bean Kona Blend coffee (‘Kona Blend’)”, which contains only 10% of Kona Coffee – was informed that a class action will be filed in California based on the “California Consumer Legal Remedies Act”.
Californian consumers are attracted by the bold label “Kona Blend”. This labelling does not indicate that there are beans in the product which do not come from Kona in Hawaii. While consumers long thought that the coffee beans were from Kona, they recently learned that only a small percentage is indeed “original”. This omission by Safeway misleads consumers as to the true composition of the product in question. As a result, consumers paid a significantly higher price for a kind of coffee product which does not have the characteristics “claimed” by the packaging. Safeway now has the opportunity to modify the labelling in question and settle the matter or a class action will be filed at the end of September.
oriGIn and its members fully support this initiative and hope that it will result in a change of the labelling used by Safeway in order to commercialize the product at issue with the indication of the true composition of the product.

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