Food Industry

Welch's Lies About Its Juice, Pays $30 Million and No One Notices

Welch's, known for its juices and commercials featuring adorable gap toothed kids, has agreed to pay a huge settlement after being sued for false advertising. Welch's 100% Juice White Grape Pomegranate Flavored 3 Juice Blend was labeled as if it contained more pomegranate than it actually did, according to the suit. Of course, since pomegranate was the "it" fruit of, like, three minutes ago, it is entirely believable that the big W stretched the truth in order to jump on the purple bandwagon. For example, labeling products "pomegranate" even when they only included one drop of pomegranate juice in an 8,796-ounce vat of white grape juice.

Welch's mistake I can understand (well, it does have pomegranate juice, dammit), but what about the multiple lawsuits brought against Welch's? Yes, multiple. This has been a veritable telenovela of civil action.

First, Pom Wondeful, a competing juice manufacturer, went after the juice giants. This brought attention to the situation. Pom proved in court that Welch's label was indeed misleading, but wasn't able to prove any damages, so there was no payday.

Cue civilians -- from Courtney in California to Rojas in Florida. They all wanted their piece of the pie, and had all had apparently been depending on pomegranate to cure what ailed them. That is the pomegranate in Welch's White Pomegranate Flavored 3 Juice Blend. Unfortunately, the pathetically small amount of pomegranate turned the plaintiffs into rabid, purple poodles, and they had to be put down. Just kidding.

What I can't fathom for the life of me, is how the hell did Pom Wonderful find out that the Welch's product did not contain the amount of pomegranate it claimed? Did they test the competitor's juices? Did they have a spy at Welch's?

The company agreed to distribute $30 million in coupons to settle the two class action suits. It will also pay off some folks and donate $350,000 in juice to some charitable groups. And it is trying to suck the money out of its insurers, who, surprise, don't want to pay.

Why haven't we heard anything about this? I even did a Google news search and it returned only one hit. Google, people!

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Ily Goyanes
Contact: Ily Goyanes