The big news at O.N.E. today might have been the departure from day-to-day operations of founding CEO Rodrigo Veloso, but the company is also facing a potential long-term issue in the face of a class action civil lawsuit filed Feb. 29 in California concerning some of the company’s nutritional claims.
The suit, which has also been filed in Florida and New York, two other states in which O.N.E. is widely distributed, centers on electrolyte claims made by the company and a nutritional study released by testing firm ConsumerLab.com last summer.
O.N.E. is the third of the three major coconut water companies to face a class-action suit; Zico is currently engaged in a case over the brand’s use of coconut water concentrate in some of its products — founder Mark Rampolla called that suit “baseless” earlier this week — while its other rival, Vita Coco, recently settled a case for $10 million stemming from the same ConsumerLab study.
Veloso said he could not comment on the lawsuit.
“All I can say is that we feel tremendously proud of our product, our quality, and our quality controls,” he said.
One of the attorneys in the case, Patrick Sheehan, told BevNET that the case “is not dissimilar to another case that we prosecuted against Vita Coco, which has been settled and presented for approval. We’re quite confident.”