Industryweek 6832 Us Juice Maker Can Sue Coke Misleading Consumers

High Court: Juice Maker Can Sue Coke for Misleading Consumers

June 12, 2014
The Supreme Court rules that juice maker Pom Wonderful can sue Coca Cola for labeling one of its drinks "Pomegranate Blueberry" although it contains just a trace of those juices.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. juice maker Pom Wonderful can sue Coca Cola (IW 500/27) for labeling one of its drinks "Pomegranate Blueberry" although it contains just a trace of those juices, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The top panel reached its decision with a vote of eight to zero.

Pom Wonderful, which sells 100% pomegranate juice, claimed it suffered a loss in sales as a result of Coke's labeling practices.

The California juice company complained that the Minute Maid drink made by Coke was made almost entirely -- about 99.5% -- from a mixture of apple and grape juice, a fact that consumers would not easily be able to discern from reading the label.

The front label of the Coca-Cola beverage, beneath the words proclaiming "pomegranate blueberry," also has the words "flavored blend of five juices" in smaller type.

Coca-Cola had won a lower court case in San Francisco court with a ruling that the company's labeling practices were consistent with U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules.

Coca-Cola attorney Kathleen Sullivan had argued that only the FDA was responsible for maintaining the "national uniformity" of labeling.

But the Supreme Court rejected that argument "because Congress intended national uniformity in food and beverage labeling."

The court added that U.S. laws require uniform labeling standards to prevent "unfair competition in all covered markets."

One justice on the nine-member panel, Stephen Breyer, did not hear the case.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

Continue Reading

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Digitally Transforming Data and Processes With Product Lifecycle Management

Oct. 29, 2023
Manufacturers face increasing challenges in product development as they strive to consistently deliver improved results. Discover how industry leaders are improving time-to-market...

You Cannot Stay Competitive by Bolting New Technologies to a Legacy ERP

Oct. 20, 2023
Read this white paper to understand the benefits of shifting to a next-generation ERP system as part of a DOP.

The Executive Guide to Best Practices for Ecommerce Integration

Oct. 2, 2023
Get ready to elevate your post-checkout experiences and thrive in today's unpredictable market. Learn why integration and automation are crucial to run operations more smoothly...

Lean Manufacturing in the Age of the Industrial Internet

Oct. 24, 2023
Read how advanced MES capabilities can help you improve your labor utilization, reduce WIP, and optimize your production. Download the white paper today.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!