A new lawsuit accuses PepsiCo of misleading marketing over its Naked Juice products.
Consumer advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) claims that statements like "no sugar added" and "only the best ingredients" lead customers to believe that Naked Juice is healthier than it really is. The class action is requesting that PepsiCo change its marketing practices and award damages to people who have bought the products in question.
CSPI points to Naked’s Pomegranate Blueberry juice as an example. It's labeled with "no sugar added," which is true. However, the complaint asserts that the labeling leads customers to believe it contains less sugar than other drinks, which it says is far from true.
A 15.2 oz bottle of Pomegranate Blueberry juice contains 61 grams of sugar, which is 20 grams more than a 12 oz. can of Pepsi, according to the lawsuit, but the daily recommended intake of sugar is 37.5 grams for a man and 25 grams for a woman.
As for taglines like "only the best ingredients" and "just the healthiest fruits and vegetables," CSPI says Naked Juice is made predominantly of "cheap, nutrient-poor" juices like orange and apple juice.
"Consumers are paying higher prices for the healthful and expensive ingredients advertised on Naked labels, such as berries, cherries, kale, and other greens, and mango," CSPI litigation direction Maia Kats said in a statement. "But consumers are predominantly getting apple juice, or in the case of Kale Blazer, orange and apple juice. They’re not getting what they paid for."
PepsiCo denies that its marketing for Naked Juice is misleading. "All products in the Naked portfolio proudly use fruits and/or vegetables with no sugar added, and all Non-GMO claims on label are verified by an independent third party," the company told Business Insider. "Any sugar present in Naked Juice products comes from the fruits and/or vegetables contained within and the sugar content is clearly reflected on labels for all consumers to see."
This isn't the first time that PepsiCo has been sued for health claims about its Naked Juice products. As part of a $9 million settlement in 2013, according to Reuters, the company agreed to stop calling them “all natural.”
PepsiCo could not immediately be reached for comment.