Hot on the heels of the release of a study that smacked down electrolyte claims made by each brand, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against the makers of both Vita Coco and O.N.E. The suit accuses the companies of overstating and exaggerating the functional and health benefits of their coconut water products, according to a story released by Thomson Reuters Legal.
The lawsuits claim that each company is deceiving consumers about the actual nutrient levels in their products and, by extension, the companies’ claims of their products providing superior hydration benefits amount to fraud and false advertising.
The lawsuits were spurred by a recently published study by ConsumerLab.com that examined the nutritional content and claims of popular coconut water brands ZICO, Vita Coco and O.N.E. While ZICO matched its stated content, the study found that Vita Coco and O.N.E. contained significantly less sodium and magnesium, two key electrolytes, than listed on their nutritional labels and marketing materials.
Michael Kirban, the founder and CEO of Vita Coco, told Thomson Reuters that his company is investigating the accuracy of the results of the study, though he noted that they raised a “big red flag internally” and that the company may add a disclaimer to its packaging to indicate that the amounts of nutrients in the coconut water may differ slightly from the label.
Each lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages, a corrective advertising campaign, and an apology to members of the plaintiff class.