Supreme Court to Hear Big Case on Food, Beverage Advertising

The outcome of the Pom Wonderful versus Coca-Cola case may mean big advertising changes

Facebook/Pom Wonderful
The ruling in Pom Wonderful versus Coke may have lasting implications for the future of food and beverage advertising.

On Monday, April 21st, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case that could heavily impact the way that food and beverage companies are permitted to label their products.

The case, Pom Wonderful versus Coca-Cola, alleges that the soda giant misled consumers with its labeling of the “Pomegranate and Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 Juices, which contained only .3 percent pomegranate juice and .2 percent blueberry juice. The remaining 99 percent of the “blend” consisted of apple juice and grape juice.”

The lawsuit, which dates back to 2008, also names Ocean Spray, Welches, and Tropicana for similarly misleading statements, according to AdWeek. However, only Coca-Cola won against Pom in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Depending on how the Supreme Court rules, the ramifications could be broad,” Linda Goldstein, a partner at Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips, told AdWeek. “This is a huge case for the food and beverage industry. No one has asserted that Coca-Cola violated FDA rules and law. The issue is whether the FDA regulations are the floor or the ceiling. Pom says it's the floor and that the label can still be misleading."

If Pom is successful on Monday, methods of labeling for food and beverage companies might be subject to an intense amount of scrutiny, and may cause “uncertainty and confusion and open the flood gates even further to class action litigation," said Goldstein.

The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its ruling this summer.

Click here for our slideshow of the Six Most Bizzare Beverage Lawsuits.

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy

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