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PepsiCo Inc. will change the labels of two of its Tropicana juice drinks as the result of the Purchase, N.Y.-based company settling a lawsuit that claimed the products' "real fruit juice" descriptions were misleading, the Associated Press reported.
Bottles of Tropicana Peach Papaya and Strawberry Melon drinks will turn up on store shelves with the new labels by January 2006. The new labels will call the beverages "flavored juice drink/from concentrate with other natural flavors."
The original "real fruit juice" claim referred to pear juice from concentrate, not to peach and papaya or strawberry and melon juices, which were represented by flavorings.
The lawsuit was filed in February in New Jersey Superior Court on behalf of a New Jersey man who bought the Peach Papaya drink. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food safety advocate, later joined the suit.
Aside from new labels, PepsiCo also agreed to pay the man $2,500, donate $100,000 to American Heart Association programs in New Jersey and cover attorney fees.
PepsiCo spokesman Dave DeCecco told the Associated Press the old label met federal Food and Drug Administration guidelines, but that they company agreed to the change because "we just want to take every opportunity to provide nutrition information about our products and clearly communicate what's inside each package."
In other PepsiCo news, the company recently entered the milk market with its introduction of flavored milk beverages called Quaker Milk Chillers.
The chocolate, strawberry and vanilla-flavored drinks, targeted to young adults, are made with 2 percent reduced-fat milk and fortified with calcium and seven vitamins.
The 14-ounce single-serve bottles are being sold now in convenience, grocery and drug stores, mass merchandisers, school vending machines and select foodservice accounts in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, company officials announced.
PepsiCo’s move came just days after Coca-Cola Co.'s largest bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., said it plans to acquire a majority stake in Bravo! Foods International Corp., which distributes the Slammers line of vitamin-fortified flavored milks.