NEW YORK — PepsiCo Inc. has removed the phrase “all natural” from the labels of its Naked juices after a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, argued that the drinks contain ingredients that aren’t “all-natural.”
As part of the lawsuit, which was filed in September 2011, Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo also has agreed to pay $9 million to settle.
“Our juices and smoothies are made with all-natural fruits and vegetables — with no added sugar and no preservatives,” PepsiCo said in an e-mailed statement. “In some products, we also include an added boost of vitamins.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs had alleged that the vitamins being used by Naked were actually synthetic ingredients, including a fiber made by Archer Daniels Midland Co., Decatur, Ill. PepsiCo said in its statement that the “all natural” claim actually described the fruits and vegetables in the bottle — not the vitamin boosts added to some Naked beverages.
Going forward, PepsiCo said Naked juices and smoothies will continue to be labeled “non-G.M.O.,” but will refrain from using the term “all natural” until there is more detailed regulatory guidance.“To ensure that our consumers most concerned about that issue can feel even more confident about Naked products, we plan to enlist an independent, third-party to confirm our non-G.M.O. status across the entire Naked brand portfolio,” PepsiCo said. “We’re pleased to have reached this agreement and look forward to focusing on what we love doing best: making great-tasting, great-for-you Naked juices and smoothies from the finest, purest fruits and vegetables.”