PepsiCo misleads buyers of Naked juice: lawsuit
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N: Quote) has been accused in a lawsuit of misleading shoppers into believing its Naked juices and smoothies primarily contain "high-value" ingredients such as kale, when the main ingredient is often cheaper, less nutritious apple juice.
According to a complaint filed on Tuesday in the Brooklyn, New York federal court, PepsiCo emblazons healthy fruits and vegetables on Naked labels, and touts how the drinks have "no sugar added," when they actually contain roughly as much sugar as a can of Pepsi.
In a statement, PepsiCo called the lawsuit "baseless," and said there was nothing misleading about its Naked products.
The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group, on behalf of three shoppers.
Dina Lipkind of Brooklyn, Lyle Takeshita of Los Angeles and Chad Fenwick of Chatsworth, California claim they overpaid for Naked drinks such as Kale Blazer and Green Machine.
The label for Kale Blazer, for example, promises a "royal roundtable of yum" from its blend of kale with "cucumber, spinach, celery and a pinch of ginger, the complaint said.
But according to the label, kale puree is only the second listed ingredient, between orange juice and apple juice, and a 15.2 ounce serving contains 34 grams of sugar.
Other Naked drinks contain as much as 61 grams of sugar, the complaint said. In contrast, a 12-ounce Pepsi contains 41 grams. Continued...