labels: foods / beverages, soft drinks, cadbury schweppes
Indian New Yorker sues Cadbury over "all natural" Snapple news
07 July 2007

New York: Hemant Mehta, a New York resident has sued Cadbury Schweppes Plc, accusing the company of misllabeling certain products, including its Snapple juice and tea drinks, as "all natural" when they were not.

Mehta, who wants the suit to become a class action complaint, says that the drinks contained high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and "other non-natural products," according to the suit filed in Manhattan federal court.

"HFCS does not exist in nature and is not ''minimally processed,"'' the complaint said. "Describing HFCS as an ''all natural'' ingredient is deceptive and unfair to consumers and competitors."

He has also accused the company of misleading consumers about the main ingredients in juice and tea drinks.

Mehta is seeking to represent all people who bought certain Cadbury Schweppes and Snapple drinks over the last six years, and wants damages of at least $100 million on their behalf.

The Tata Group () and Coca Cola ()are both said to be interested in acquiring the brand.

The case comes amidst a possible bid by soft drink major Coca-Cola Co. for Cadbury''s Snapple iced tea brand.

Cadbury Schweppes said in March that it planned to split itself in two, separating its confectionery and soft drinks businesses, as it apparently bowed to pressure from investors led by US billionaire Nelson Peltz.

Coca-Cola has been working to expand its non-carbonated beverage portfolio, as more customers migrate to buying juice, tea and bottled water.

Last month, it completed its $4.1 billion acquisition of Glaceau, maker of Vitaminwater, also known as Energy Brands.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola approached some private equity funds that have reportedly been involved in bidding for Cadbury''s US drinks business, which includes the Snapple brand, reports said.

also see : Tata eyeing Cadbury`s Snapple
Coke weighing Cadbury's Snapple acquisition

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Indian New Yorker sues Cadbury over "all natural" Snapple