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Coca-Cola’s “pomegranate” drink goes to the Supreme Court


How much pomegranate does a beverage have to contain to use "pomegranate" in its name or marketing? The Supreme Court will decide.
Pom Juice
POM isn’t feeling so wonderful about Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid pomegranate drink. (Photo: Weheartit.com)

 

A big deal superfood is caught in a courtroom battle. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed that it will hear POM Wonderful v. Coca-Cola, a case about pomegranate, and whether or not a beverage that contains less than one percent of the antioxidant-rich fruit may use “pomegranate” in the product name and on its label. Or whether this constitutes false advertising.

In short, it’s a suit in which POM Wonderful (the brand that gave pomegranate a home in the juice aisle) claims that the labeling and promotion of Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry Drink violates state and federal false advertising laws.

The case bears striking resemblance to the ongoing beauty product phenomenon of “angel dusting,” in which mainstream beauty brands include a drop of hot natural ingredients (argan oil, acai, you name it) as a misleading marketing tactic.

Only time will tell the outcome of POM v. Coca-Cola. Either way, this ruling will help set the precedent for the marketing of faux healthy foods in the grocery store. No telling whether organic beauty brands will have the power that POM does to stand up to the powerhouse brands in their aisle. —Jamie McKillop and Melisse Gelula