For almost a decade, pomegranate juice company POM Wonderful has claimed consumers were duped by Minute Maid's pomegranate-blueberry juice, which actually contained far more apple and grape juice. But finding that POM failed to show Minute Maid-owner Coca-Cola misled consumers, a jury sided with Coke in a Los Angeles court on Monday following a seven-day trial. In a statement to Courthouse News, POM says it's disappointed with the decision because Coke "intentionally confused consumers." The company was seeking $78 million in damages; Coke discontinued the product in 2014 amid weak sales.
"Food and beverage manufacturers have a responsibility to provide honest and accurate information about what's in their products, and consumers have a right not to be deceived by products which aren't as they appear," POM says. Coke contends that its packaging showed all five fruits used in the juice, which tasted like pomegranate and blueberry, per the Wall Street Journal. In court, Coke added that POM had "unclean hands" because it claims its juices, which are more concentrated than it lets on, have health benefits that are unproven. POM hasn't decided if it will pursue the case further, if possible.