Right, so you are dash into a 24 hour store after a hectic gym session, you want to grab something to drink on your way home and decide to ditch the fizzies and tuck into a nice HEALTHY bottle of Vitamin water. (you had to obviously empty your whole piggy bank for this, seeing as its not the cheapest drink in the store either).  How would you feel if you had known that the product that you have just consumed has exactly the same amount of sugar in as an ordinary can of Coke?  Would you feel that you have just been tricked into drinking ordinary sugar water (with a few extra vitamins and flavorings) by clever branding and marketing?  Well consumers in the US felt exactly that and the holding company of Vitamin water, Coca Cola is currently being sued basically, for false advertising.  I must be honest I see myself as a bit of a health and fitness freak and I was totally mislead, I was slotting about one of those bottles of Vitamin water per day, totally clueless of what I was consuming!

Vitamin Water consists out of Distilled water, the second ingredient is crystalline fructose (luckily for Coke nobody knows what this means) basically it is a nicer word for high-fructose corn syrup, which is only the WORST legal thing you could do to your body!  If you had to drink a glass of juice you would be consuming far more vitamins than you would from a Vitamin Water.

According to Times magazine the Judge ruled that the Vitamin water name misleads consumers is potentially actionable, since that key third ingredient, sugar, is conveniently absent from the title. “The potential for confusion is heightened,” Gleeson wrote, “by the presence of other statements in Vitamin water’s labeling, such as the description of the product as a ‘vitamin enhanced water beverage’ and the phrases ‘vitamins + water + all you need’ and ‘vitamins + water = what’s in your hand’ which have the potential to reinforce a consumer’s mistaken belief that the product is comprised of only vitamins and water.”

The group responsible for taking Coke to court achieved a victory last week, when a federal judge tossed out Coke’s motion to dismiss the case. In a strongly worded 55-page opinion, Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn said the health claims on some Vitaminwater bottles may be in violation of FDA regulations since the drink “achieves its nutritional content solely through fortification that violates FDA policy.” The judge thinks Coke could be violating the so-called jellybean rule, which says that a food- or drinkmaker cannot load otherwise unhealthy products with vitamins or other nutrients in order to claim it is healthy. A sugar product is a sugar product: you can’t say a jellybean fights heart disease because it contains no cholesterol. 

Either way at the end of the day its up to the consumer to read the small print but wouldn’t it be nice if a creditable brand like Coke would just be honest or deliver a product that IS actually good for you and full of Vitamins with no bad-stuff in it?  After all the consumer has done more that its share to be loyal to the brand?  I for one will never touch another bottle of Vitamin Water!