(Adds PepsiCo statement paragraphs 3, 11)
By Jonathan Stempel
Oct 4 PepsiCo Inc 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
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.
PepsiCo "deliberately cultivates" consumer misperceptions
through its marketing of Naked drinks, the complaint said.
The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of shoppers
nationwide and in New York and California. It also seeks
PepsiCo, in its statement, said every Naked bottle
identifies the fruits and vegetables it contains, and the sugar
content is "clearly reflected" on the label.
In 2013, the Purchase, New York-based company agreed to stop
calling Naked juices "all natural" as part of a $9 million
The case is Lipkind et al v. PepsiCo Inc, U.S. District
Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 16-05506.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Cynthia