PepsiCo to no longer call Naked juices 'natural'

(AP)—PepsiCo Inc. says it will no longer label its Naked juices as being "all natural," after a lawsuit complained that the drinks contain ingredients that don't fit that bill.

The company, based in Purchase, New York, is also paying $9 million to settle the lawsuit.

In an emailed statement, the company said it uses "an added boost of vitamins" in some of the drinks. But a lawsuit filed against the company noted that the vitamins are actually synthetic ingredients, including a fiber made by Archer Daniels Midland.

PepsiCo did not respond when asked whether those are in fact included in the juices. The company's statement said it will drop the use of the word "natural" until there is more regulatory guidance around the world.

The case highlights the confusion around the use of the word "natural" in in the industry. The Food and Drug Administration doesn't currently have a definition for what constitutes a natural product. But it says that it doesn't object to the term's use if the food doesn't have "added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances."

Notably, the FDA says it's difficult to define a food product that is natural, since it has likely been processed and is no longer a "product of the earth."

Michele Simon, a public health lawyer and critic of food industry marketing practices, noted that there are numerous cases making their way through the legal system because of food companies' use of the word natural. She said the PepsiCo case was notable because the company was in essence addressing the murkiness of the word with the settlement.

"This company is basically surrendering the use of the offensive, deceptive marketing term," Simon said.

The lawsuit against PepsiCo noted that the company cultivates a "healthy and socially conscious image" to boost sales of the drinks, which typically cost around $4 a bottle. It noted that PepsiCo knew its target market would be willing to pay more for natural drinks that are 100% juice and free of genetically modified organisms.

The lawsuit also claimed that PepsiCo used genetically modified organisms in its Naked juices. In its statement, the company denied that claim and said its drinks will continue to be labeled "non-GMO." It said it plans to enlist a third-party to confirm the non-GMO status of the juices.

PepsiCo did not say when it planned to make the labeling changes in line with the settlement, reached earlier this month. On Friday, the website for Naked Juices still showed bottles with the words "all natural" on them.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

PepsiCo unveils 100 percent plant-based bottle

Mar 16, 2011

(AP) -- Remember the Cola Wars? Get ready for the Bottle Wars. PepsiCo Inc. on Tuesday unveiled a bottle made entirely of plant material, which it says bests the technology of competitor Coca-Cola and reduces its potential ...

Feds fine St. Louis drug maker $3.5 million

Jul 19, 2013

(AP)—A St. Louis-based drug maker is paying $3.5 million to settle a federal lawsuit that it illegally paid doctors to prescribe out-of-date antidepressants and sleep aids to Medicare and Medicaid patients.

PepsiCo to cut sodium, sugar, fat in products

Mar 22, 2010

(AP) -- PepsiCo Inc. plans to cut the sodium found in each serving of its key brands by one-fourth in five years, the company announced Monday, as the industry deals with pressure from the government and health-conscious ...

Pomegranate juice claims deceptive, US rules

May 21, 2012

Pomegranate juice has not been proven to be an effective treatment for cancer, heart disease or erectile dysfunction, US regulators said Monday, calling a company's ad claims deceptive.

Recommended for you

Were clinical trial practices in East Germany questionable?

20 hours ago

Clinical trials carried out in the former East Germany in the second half of the 20th century were not always with the full knowledge or understanding of participants with some questionable practices taking place, according ...

Schumacher's doctor sees progress after injury

Oct 23, 2014

A French physician who treated Michael Schumacher for nearly six months after the Formula One champion struck his head in a ski accident says he is no longer in a coma and predicted a possible recovery within three years.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

alfie_null
not rated yet Jul 27, 2013
Noting the comments in the article from this Michele Simon, who is described as a public health lawyer and critic of food industry marketing practices, I'm having a hard time imagining that either the intent or the outcome of this suit will benefit consumers.

Do people get sick from consuming synthetic vitamins?

I'm much more concerned with the amount of sugar in drink (and food) I consume, and that companies try to hide the ingredient as "apple juice", "grape juice", "pear juice", etc.

People do get sick from consuming too much sugar. They get obese, They get diabetes.

Who gets that $9 million and what are they going to do with it?