In a lawsuit reminiscent of the one on Splenda’s ‘made from sugar, tastes like sugar,” a lawsuit filed against Coca Cola on Friday claims that “Simply Orange” is misleading as the branded beverage is not simple orange juice and contains other additives and constituents.
The lawsuit, filed in an Illinois federal court claimed that the alleged product depended upon added flavors to reach the aroma not found in nature. The product undergoes heavy industrial processing that tweaks the simple orange juice to artificial consistency, looks, and smell. The plaintiff accused Coca Cola of fraud and misrepresentation and is seeking class-action status.
The plaintiff, Randall Davis, says that the product labeled “100% Pure Squeezed Orange Juice … for personal, family, or household purposes,” misleads the consumers.
Coca-Cola spokeswoman Susan Stribling told the media in response to the lawsuit that the products of the company’s ‘Simply’ and ‘Minute Maid’ juices are properly labeled in full accordance with FDA regulations.
But this is not about those FDA regulations, but about what Splenda had to pay through its nose for claiming ‘made from sugar.’
The spokeswoman for Coca Cola said “This lawsuit has nothing to do with misleading consumers and everything to do with lining class action lawyers’ pockets … it is a meritless case against which we will vigorously defend ourselves.”
However, the Illinois court found sufficient prima facie merit to admit the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that chemically engineered ‘flavor packs’ are added to Simply Orange, while consumers pay a premium price for the product due to their belief that the product is fresh and unadulterated with anything artificial. The lawsuit claims “Coca-Cola misrepresented that Simply Orange was 100% pure and natural orange juice when in fact it was not.”
An earlier suit on similar lines against Taco Bell for misrepresenting the amount of beef in its products hit the headlines last year, but was voluntarily withdrawn by the plaintiff after Taco Bell strongly disputed the allegations.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois is Randall Davis, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, v. The Coca-Cola Company, 12-cv-02391.