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Tropicana Faces Deceptive Advertising Lawsuit Over 100% Pure and Natural Claim

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Tropicana by Lars Plougmann on Flickr

Image by Lars Plougmann on Flickr

Tropicana is facing a class action lawsuit filed by consumers who allege that “[d]espite Tropicana’s ’100% pure and natural’ claim, Tropicana’s NFC juice is heavily processed and flavored – it is not 100% pure and natural.”

The lawsuit (PDF) claims that Tropicana has wrongly benefited to the tune of annual worldwide sales of over $5 billion by misleading consumers and engaging in deceptive advertising.

More specifically, the suit claims that:

Tropicana is well aware that consumers want and demand natural products, and it seeks to take advantage of that consumer preference by deceptively promoting and marketing its NFC juice as “100% pure and natural” even though it has been pasteurized, deareated, stripped of its flavor and aroma, stored for long periods of time before it ever reaches consumers, and then flavored, before it is packaged directly into the carton.

The complaint also takes issue with Tropicana NFC’s packaging, which includes “an illustration of an orange with a straw stuck into it, which is meant to convey the message that its NFC juice is fresh from the orange. This reinforces the ’100% Pure & Natural Orange Juice’ claim in large, prominent type.”

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the Eastern District of California and details the various processes, including deaeration and pasteurization, the juice allegedly goes through as well as aromas and flavors allegedly added.

The plaintiff, individually and as a representative of all who have bought Tropicana NFC juice, seeks relief for unjust enrichment, breach of express warranty, and violation of various state consumer fraud laws, listing applicable statutes in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.

Tropicana Products, Inc. is a division of PepsiCo, Inc. At this point, Tropicana has not commented on the lawsuit.

H/t to the Courthouse News Service.

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January 11th, 2012 at 2:00 pm