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Juicy court case leaves Coca-Cola on defensive

Published on Apr 22, 2014 7:05 AM
In this October 19, 2010 file photo illustration a bottle of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice is shown next to a pomegranate. The U.S. Supreme Court on April 21, 2014 heard an appeal by Pomegranate-juice maker POM Wonderful LLC, which alleges that Coca-Cola Co. deceived consumers about the contents of a juice offered by the latter’s Minute Maid unit. POM says the Minute Maid label is misleading because the product contains little actual pomegranate or blueberry juice, while Coca-Cola says the label accurately informed consumers that the juice tastes like pomegranate and blueberry. 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Coca-Cola was taken to task by the United States (US) Supreme Court on Monday, with justices questioning whether a drink sold as fruit juice was the real thing.

The US soft drinks giant is being sued by Californian fruit juice maker Pom Wonderful, who accuse Coca-Cola of misleading consumers about its Minute Maid drink "Pomegranate Blueberry" that contains only 0.5 per cent of the two fruits.

Pom Wonderful attorney Seth Waxman said consumers were being misled by Coca-Cola branding the drink - which was mostly apple or grape - as "Pomegranate Blueberry." Pom Wonderful, which sells 100 per cent pomegranate juice, was suffering as a result of Coca-Cola's practices, Mr Waxman argued.

Coca-Cola won an earlier case in a San Francisco court, which ruled that the company's labelling practices were consistent with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules.

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