Naked Juice Admits It’s Not So Natural

The PepsiCo brand joins several others involved in lawsuits concerning deceptive health claims.

PepsiCo will pay consumers up to $75 as part of its $9 million settlement regarding a class-action lawsuit that determined its Naked juice products contained hidden GMO ingredients. Photograph via Flickr user JeffBedford.

It’s settled: Those “all-natural” Naked juices that line the shelves in grocery stores’ health-food sections and cost you $4 a pop aren’t actually natural.

PepsiCo recently settled a lawsuit involving its brand Naked Juice for $9 million, admitting that its products weren’t “all natural,” despite being advertised as such on each bottle. Labels also include the phrase, “Only the freshest, purest stuff in the world.” As part of the settlement, PepsiCo announced it will removed those claims from its packaging.

The Natalie Pappas v. Naked Juice Co. of Glendora class-action lawsuit emerged in the fall of 2011. The plaintiff alleged that Naked Juices were hiding GMO and synthetic ingredients, including zinc oxide, ascorbic acid, and calcium pantothenate, which is produced from formaldehyde. 

It’s not the first lawsuit against a brand that advertises its all-natural ingredients. In 2011, a lawsuit was filed against Kashi for its use of synthentically produced ingredients despite its “natural” claims. It was slapped with another lawsuit in April 2013 for masking its use of sugar with the term “evaporated cane juice.” The FDA’s current policy on the use of the term states that sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup should not be declared as ‘evaporated cane juice’ because that term falsely suggests that the sweeteners are juice.”

And Trader Joe’s is currently involved in two separate lawsuits. The first concerns deceptive labeling, which plaintiffs argue hide the actual quantity of sugar, preservatives, and food coloring; the second states that the grocery chain, along with Whole Foods, Target, and other supermarkets, has been selling candy and snacks that contain high levels of lead.