In today’s news of the weird: people want MORE Folgers? And they’re willing to sue over it?!
Now listen, before we move forward let me just make it abundantly clear that I’m not one to poo poo a person’s coffee proclivities (in most cases). You want a dark roast? I dig. You favor pre-ground? I feel you. Maybe you just want instant. I understand.
With that said, let’s proceed.
As reported by Ad Age, a Chicago area woman has filed a lawsuit against Folgers, alleging the iconic brand’s canisters don’t contain enough coffee to make the 240 six-ounce cups stated on the packaging. According to the lawsuit, if consumers knew they weren’t getting the 240 cups, they would have paid less for the coffee that currently costs [checks notes] $6.95 for 30.5 ounces, or not purchased the coffee at all.
Per the suit:
Indeed, it is a classic and unlawful bait-and-switch scheme that causes unsuspecting consumers to spend more money for less than the advertised amount of coffee they believe they are purchasing.
Doing some quick math here, for a 30.5-ounce canister—any canister, regardless of roast or blend, they all state a coffee serving size of “one tablespoon”—to make 240 six-ounce cups as advertised, a serving clocks in at 3.602g of coffee.
Now, for any coffee from a 24.2oz canister, the coffee serving size comprising a tablespoon is 3.266g. 11.3oz cans have a serving size—yet again listed as one tablespoon—of 3.559g. For those at home wondering what these numbers add up to in terms of brew ratio, between 47:1 and 52:1, just a touch higher the and 15:1 to 17:1 ratio suggested by the SCA.
So the million-dollar question is—or excess of $5 million American dollar question, the amount the suit is seeking, roughly equivalent 21.9 million ounces of Folgers—does 3.266-3.602g of coffee fill one tablespoon? I fresh ground some whole bean coffee I had on hand for this purely unscientific and not remotely admissible in court test of the hypothesis, and, well, you be the judge.
Moser’s suit goes on to allege recurring harm by Folgers because “she would like to continue purchasing Folgers ground coffee products, because she likes the taste.” Filed in Chicago federal court on November 30th, the suit seeks class-action status, joining “multiple cases filed throughout the country this year that make similar accusations against Folgers and other coffee companies,” per Ad Age.
While I firmly stand behind anyone fastidiously pinching pennies, testing with great rigor the tensile strength of a dollar, it is the editorial position of this publication that in no way, shape, or form should a person be able to purchase nearly two pounds of coffee for under $7. This is an immorally low price built upon the labor of farmers who don’t make enough to cover the costs of production.
It’s unlikely Ellen Moser or any other litigant knows any of this; they are just trying to get what they paid for.