PepsiCo Will Change Naked Juice Labeling As Part Of Settlement With Healthy Foods Watchdog

By Emma Court Markets MarketWatch Pulse

PepsiCo Inc. will change the labeling of its Naked Juice smoothie products as part of a settlement agreement with the watchdog Center for Science in the Public Interest. The changes, which PepsiCo plans to implement over the next eight months, include changes to the naming system to explicitly state the nature of the product -- such as "fruit juice" or "fruit and veggie juice" -- and what's inside of it, for example, "kale flavored blend of 8 juices with other natural flavors," according to the agreement. Any imagery on the labels and descriptive statements will also reflect the product's most significant ingredients, and the claim "no sugar added" will be displayed less prominently, along with the disclaimer that the product is not a low-calorie food. The company also said it will not use "unsubstantiated health-content or health-based claims" in marketing or advertising of Naked juices. The settlement does not count as an admission of wrongdoing, PepsiCo and Naked Juice said. CSPI, which advocates for a healthier food system, commended PepsiCo on its cooperation and "commitment to transparency." "Consumers deserve to know at a glance what they're buying, and Naked's labeling and marketing enhancements accomplish that," litigation director Maia Kats said. According to the agreement, the various labeling and marketing commitments expire in five years maximum, and could expire earlier depending on changes in the products or relevant regulations that would affect the entire agreement. PepsiCo agreed to remove the "all natural" claim from its Naked line in 2013 as part of a $9 million lawsuit settlement. PepsiCo shares were up a scant 1.0% in morning trade Tuesday. Shares have surged 6.9% over the last three months, compared with a 7.0% rise in the S&P 500 .

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