The Coca-Cola Company has reached a settlement in a lawsuit that dates back to 2009, when consumer advocacy nonprofit The Center for Science in the Public Interest accused Vitaminwater of deceiving consumers on the true beneficial nature of the products. The Associated Press announced the proposed settlement Thursday, with a Coke representative telling the AP the company “was pleased to reach an amicable resolution of these cases. Although we remain confident in our legal position, it simply made no sense to continue this costly legal battle.”
As part of the settlement, Vitaminwater will add the phrase “with sweeteners” on two locations on its bottles, one of which will be prominently displayed alongside its name. The brand will also remove the phrase “vitamins + water = all you need”, “vitamins + water = what’s in your hand” and “this combination of zinc and fortifying vitamins can…keep you healthy as a horse,” from its labels. Additionally, Vitaminwater will no longer be permitted to make claims about the product’s efficacy in reducing the risk of eye disease or improving metabolic function.
The settlement, which is still pending approval from a federal judge, would require the company to begin changes to be in compliance with the terms of the settlement within three months, and complete them within two years. Coca-Cola will also have to fork up $2.73 million to cover the plaintiff’s attorney fees and expenses.
The proposed settlement can be found in full here.