This Dunkin' Lawsuit Could Change the Cost of Your Latte Everywhere

The coffee chain charges more for oat, soy, almond, and other alternative milks. But should they?
Updated July 18, 2024
Fact checked
Dunkin' famous for coffee and baked goods.

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Uh oh. Looks like Dunkin’ is facing a lawsuit, and this could make waves for coffee prices from every business, including other brands like Starbucks and McDonald’s. Let’s take a look at how Dunkin’ is in trouble and how this can affect your latte experience everywhere.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Why Dunkin' is being sued

Lactose intolerant customers and those with dairy allergies are suing Dunkin’ for charging extra on non-dairy milk products. This class action lawsuit is based on the position that it’s discriminatory under the Americans with Disabilities Act to charge more, especially since those with dairy allergies or intolerances have no choice but to choose non-dairy milk in their coffee. And Dunkin’ charges anywhere from $0.50 to $2 more for these milk alternatives.

Dunkin isn't alone in charging extra

Many popular coffee chains charge for non-dairy milk in their drinks. Starbucks, for example, charges between $0.70 to $0.80 for oat, soy, almond, coconut, or almond milk. Caribou Coffee charges $0.80 more for dairy-free alternatives unless you’re a part of their rewards program. Peet’s Coffee and Tea also charges $0.80 for non-dairy milk, with the exception of their Earth Month promotion.

How could this affect your morning brew?

If Dunkin' loses this lawsuit and has to stop charging extra for non-dairy milk, it's likely other chains will have to follow suit. In good news, this could drop the price of your latte and make dairy-free alternatives more accessible. Even if you aren’t lactose intolerant or have dairy allergies, plant-based drinks are known to be more environmentally friendly, animal-friendly, and even healthier for our bodies.

Bottom line

Dunkin’ has until March 4 to respond, so stay tuned to see how this could affect your coffee-going experience no matter where you go. Though this could affect customers with dairy allergies and intolerances, it has the potential to create change for every single customer.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards


Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee


Rewards Rate

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ariel Taranski Ariel Taranski is a writer for FinanceBuzz. She has worked as a content marketer for CPAs and financial advisors, and she enjoys being frugal and money-savvy in her day-to-day life. Ariel has also worked with clients such as The Knot, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Alpha Prime, and many more in her time as a freelance writer.