Monday, June 9, 2008

Pomegranate Juice, or Not So Much?

This summer, Pom Wonderful LLC, a Los Angeles, California based company, won a lawsuit against its chief competitor, Purely Juice, Inc., claiming that Purely Juice's label claims of "100% Pomegranate Juice" are not 100% true. In its lawsuit, Pom Wonderful claimed that Purely Juice was selling adulterated, imported pomegranate juice and deceptively marketing it as pure pomegranate juice. The Los Angeles federal court ruled in Pom's favor. Nice to see a victory for truth in advertising. There's no question it's an unfair advantage for companies to put false claims on their labels. Clearly, Pom Wonderful thought its competitor was not competing fairly.

Here is what the company says on its website's blog about the issue:
Many of these companies use fancy pomegranate fruit pictures on the front and bursts stating “contains 100% fruit juice.” It’s quite reasonable to believe you’re getting 100% pomegranate juice, right? Then we’d turn over the bottles and read the ingredients. Frequently, we’d find the first ingredient was water or apple juice. (In case you didn’t know, it’s the law that ingredients must be listed in the highest-to-lowest order they’re used in the product.) Somewhere down in the ingredients listing is where pomegranate juice would be listed. And because the company had used some pomegranate juice, they would put the claim on the front “contains 100% fruit juice”. Legal – yes. Right – no!

Nice to see that one company understands that the pictures and words on product labels have meaning to consumers.

I am currently investigating several similar claims against national companies for false advertising. Read those labels carefully, folks. Sometimes, the pictures and words on the front of the product are very different from the ingredients listed in small print on the back. Remember, the ingredients are listed in order, so there is more of the first ingredient in the product than the second, and so on.

If you have purchased a product and believe that the product label was untrue or misleading, give me a call. I may be able to help.


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