Activate Slapped with Class-Action Lawsuit

And the hits just keep on coming.

A class-action lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Feb. 24 accuses Rising Beverage Co. – the owner of Activate — of dishonest and misleading statements in its advertising about the freshness of Activate’s key innovation, its “in-the-cap” reservoir of dry vitamins versus those pre-mixed in other beverages.

The new lawsuit follows news of a rash of California-based consumer claims filed in California. Less than a week ago, BevNET reported on new class-action lawsuits brought against Zico and Xing Tea, and others have been filed against brands like Muscle Milk. And that’s just in the beverage world: a host of similar civil suits are alleging breaches of several California consumer protection laws related to false advertising and unfair competition.

Asked about the lawsuit, Dan Holland, the CEO of Activate, stated simply, “We think it has no base.”

In advertising for its products, Activate states that “vitamins deteriorate while sitting in water, so we keep ours hid in the lid.” And on its website, Activate states that, “According to our research conducted in partnership with an independent analytical laboratory, Vitamins A, B, and C lose their potency sitting in water.”

However, the lawsuit alleges that Activate has provided the plaintiff with “no citations or documents… to substantiate or support its advertising message.” Additionally, the lawsuit points to a 2006 study in The Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences that found certain types of vitamins – including those contained in Activate – to be stable in water. Moreover, the Journal study found that palmitate, the form of vitamin A used in Activate, “is the most stable form of the vitamin in aqueous solution (water).”

The plaintiff claims that because Activate markets its vitamins as being materially fresher than the vitamins in other products, the company is able to charge a premium for its drinks, even though consumers are not receiving the promised benefits of fresher vitamins.