More reports on: Soft drinks

Pepsico rejects charges against Naked Juice as ''baseless''

10 October 2016

Responding to a lawsuit filed by consumer-advocacy-group Center for Science in the Public Interest, Pepsico has dismissed the claims against it as ''baseless.''  

"I feel confident that consumers have the clear information on our labels and the way that we've designed them to understand and make the choices that they need to make," Naked Juice's general manager Andrea Theodore told Business Insider. "I do not feel at this time that this lawsuit is causing us to rethink we need to do something different here."

Through a revamped website, the brand is working to send a similar message to consumers that customers could continue to place trust on it.

As of Thursday, Naked's website opened with the title, "Everything is right there on our bottles" instead of the images of its beverages featured earlier.

The front page now shows a statement on a plain green background, with the title "Everything is right there on our bottles." Scrolling down, the website features images of the labels that the Center for Science in the Public Interest had called "misleading."

The class-action lawsuit objects to two major parts of Naked Juices' marketing.

First, CSPI argues that contrary to Naked Juice's claim to being a no-sugar-added beverage, it was a high-sugar beverage. For instance, its Pomegranate Blueberry juice's claim of being a no-sugar-added beverage, was correct but even a single 15.2-ounce container (the smallest option) contained 61 grams of sugar, about 50 per cent more sugar than a 12-ounce can of Pepsi.

According to the lawsuit, PepsiCo was misleadingly marketing Naked Juices as predominantly containing high-value ingredients such as acai berry, blueberries, kale, and mango, when in fact the predominant ingredient in the product line was usually cheap, nutrient-poor apple juice. 

Also, the company failed to prominently disclose that the drinks were ''not a low-calorie food,'' as required by the Food and Drug Administration, CPSI had alleged.

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