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Brand Marketing: Naked Juice

Acquisitions between food/beverage companies happen largely without public knowledge. What companies like PepsiCo (Naked Juice) and Coca Cola (Odwalla) excel at is marketing, advertising and distribution. If you think you were fooled by the Naked juice brand, don't be. The product first launched in 1983 by the Naked Juice company. After PepsiCo's acquisition of them in 2007 is when product composition radically changed to meet the demand for mass distribution and consumption. It may have been cost prohibitive to sustain the founding mission of Naked Juice. However, that's not to suggest that there has been a slowdown in how the products are marketed and branded. In fact, packaging redesign is credited with propelling Naked Juice to become a nationally-recognized brand for all natural fruit smoothies that anyone can buy at the grocery store.

A recent $9 million fine for improperly labeling their juice products as "all natural" is a mere slap on the wrist since the brand portfolio was worth more than $150 M by product sales at the time of acquisition. The only thing to be learned here is that PepsiCo (and others like them) will adjust marketing content on their product portfolios to say less of what government regulations expect for product packaging and more of what consumers respond to. Is dropping the words "all natural" really going to influence how PepsiCo produces these juice products? Not likely.

What will happen to a juice product that can no longer claim nor brand itself as "natural"? The week's tweets are filled with chatter about the out-of-court settlement by PepsiCo about the Naked Juice portfolio. Food/beverage companies in similar situations have largely come out of such lawsuits mostly unscathed by public opinion. "All Natural" becomes "with natural ingredients". 

Read more?
FTC's Guidelines/Laws Regarding Truth in Advertising
Shook, Hardy, & Bacon LLP's Food and Beverage Litigation Update [PDF]

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