Pomegranate juice maker Pom Wonderful reached a confidential settlement Tuesday with Fresherized Foods Inc. over allegations that the Texas food supplier falsely advertised its juice as being 100 percent pomegranate.
Pom Wonderful, owned by L.A. billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick, filed a federal lawsuit against Fresherized Foods in 2008 claiming that the company falsely advertised its juice product as primarily containing pomegranate juice. Pom argued that Fresherized Foods' advertising confused consumers into thinking that their product provided the same health benefits as Pom's 100 percent pure pomegranate beverage.
"We're pleased that we have been able to reach this agreement with Fresherized Foods," said Pom Wonderful President Matt Tupper in a statement.
A Fresherized Foods spokeswoman declined to comment. The company sold the juice under the Frutmost label.
Pom Wonderful is the largest grower of pomegranates in the United States, and, in recent years, has expanded into distribution of pomegranate juice, pomegranate tea, pomegranate pills and fresh pomegranates.
The company is part of the Resnick's West L.A.-based Roll International Corp., which also owns bottled water company Fiji Water, online flower delivery service Teleflora, almond and pistachio producer Paramount Farming Co. and fresh citrus harvester Paramount Citrus.
The Resnicks have been particularly aggressive in defending their pomegranate domain. Since last year, the couple has filed federal lawsuits against several of Pom Wonderful's largest competitors, including beverage giant Coca-Cola Co., Welch's, Tropicana Products Inc., and Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.
All five suits claim that the companies are falsely advertising their pomegranate juice products and confusing consumers. The settlement with Fresherized Foods is the first to be reached.
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