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Copyright 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
January 2007

Kraft Foods Faces Lawsuit

Kraft Foods, the maker of Capri Sun, was sued for "falsely calling Capri Sun Drink 'All Natural,'" according to a press release by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The lawsuit claims that the company's marketing was deceptive and lead consumers to falsely believe that the product is healthier than it actually is.

The first two ingredients of Capri Sun fruit drinks are water and high fructose corn syrup. The drink contains a small percentage of real fruit juice.

On the Kraft Foods website, the company claims that "Capri Sun is all natural, containing no artificial ingredients or preservatives. No artificial ingredients means that we do not add artificial colors or flavors to our products. The quality of our products is of primary importance to us. We use only natural flavors and real fruit juice in Capri Sun All Natural Fruit Drinks...The ingredient natural flavor is a fruit extract. For example, wild cherry natural flavor ingredient would be wild cherry extract. The actual natural flavor proportions are a trade secret of the flavor suppliers."

The lawsuit was filed by a Florida woman with the help of CSPI. The Florida Law firm Varnell & Warwick is representing the plaintiff in the class action suit. According to the CSPI press release, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is no more harmful than other sugars but it is a man-made ingredient, thus contradicting the drink's claim to be "all natural."

The CSPI press release explains that while the glucose and fructose in HFCS are identical to naturally occurring glucose and fructose, the fact that chemical bonds are broken and rearranged in their production disqualifies them from being called natural.

The suit, filed in state court in Palm Beach County alleges that the "All Natural" claims are in direct violation of that state's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and asks the court to order Kraft to drop the false statements.

Since its litigation project was founded two years ago, CSPI has negotiated settlements that result in improved labeling or marketing of products made by Quaker Oats, Pinnacle Foods, Frito-Lay and others.

In response to the CSPI press release, Kraft Foods responded with its own press release with the words of Marc Firestone, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Legal Affairs for Kraft Foods Inc.

Firestone stated, "Kraft Foods has been working for about a year to reformulate its regular Capri Sun beverages and redesign the product's packaging. The new packaging, which is scheduled to go into production in about two weeks, will say that Capri Sun contains 'No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.' This new product description resonated well with consumers. With this action, the phrase 'All Natural' is being removed from the package."

According to Kraft's press release, Kraft Foods is one of the world's largest food and beverage companies.

For more information, please view the press releases provided below.

References

  1. Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Kraft is Sued for Falsely Calling Capri Sun Drink "All Natural." Jan 8, 2007. View Press Release.
  2. Regan C. Kraft Foods, Inc. Kraft Completes Year-Long Effort To Enhance Capri Sun Product, Packaging. Jan 8, 2007. View Press Release.
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