Analysis Group Supports Kona Coffee Farmers’ Successful US “Appellations of Origin” Matter

Date:July 22, 2021
Location:Boston, MA

Analysis Group, one of the largest international economics consulting firms, assisted in a Lanham Act settlement proceeding before the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, supporting a class of Kona coffee farmers who were awarded a favorable $51 million settlement, as well as counsel at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP.

In the case, a class of Kona coffee farmers – who grow the entire worldwide supply of authentic Kona coffee on farms located in the Kona District of the Big Island of Hawaii – sued coffee distributors, wholesalers, and retailers who allegedly sold ordinary commodity coffee under the Kona name. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants artificially depressed the market for authentic Kona coffee, harmed the reputation of authentic Kona coffee as a premium product, and caused consumer confusion as to legitimate sources of Kona coffee.

Analysis Group Manager Michael Schreck filed an expert report estimating a $37.9 million increase in plaintiffs’ profits stemming from the settlement’s proposed injunctive relief. Describing Dr. Schreck’s analytical approach as a “reliable methodology,” Judge Robert S. Lasnik approved a $13.1 million cash settlement and injunctive provisions requiring new labeling standards for coffee retailers.

An Analysis Group team led by Managing Principals Samuel Weglein and Lauren Kindler, and Vice President Elizabeth Milsark, supported Dr. Schreck in developing his expert report.

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About Analysis Group:

Analysis Group is one of the largest international economics consulting firms, with more than 1,000 professionals across 14 offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Since 1981, we have provided expertise in economics, finance, health care analytics, and strategy to top law firms, Fortune Global 500 companies, and government agencies worldwide. Our internal experts, together with our network of affiliated experts from academia, industry, and government, offer our clients exceptional breadth and depth of expertise.