This lawsuit resulted in a class action settlement requiring Coca-Cola to make Vitaminwater labels more truthful.

In October 2009, CSPI's Litigation Department and its co-counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of classes of California and New York consumers against Coca-Cola for false and misleading advertising of its Vitaminwater line of products.

According to the lawsuit, Vitaminwater labels bear claims like “vitamins + water = what’s in your hand,” “vitamins + water = all you need,” and “this combination of zinc and fortifying vitamins can ... keep you healthy as a horse." A bottle of Vitaminwater has, on average, 8 teaspoons of sugar, however. So, consumers are getting more than "healthy" serving of vitamins and water.

In March 2016, following final approval of their Settlement Agreement by the court, the parties settled the litigation. Pursuant to the Agreement, Coca-Cola is now prohibited from using the above and like health labeling claims, and will indicate conspicuously on front of label packaging that Vitaminwater is “with sweeteners” and has “120 calories” – not just vitamins and water.

Status: Closed

Outcome: Class-action settlement prohibited Coca-Cola from making certain health claims and requiring it to indicate conspicuously on front of label packaging that Vitaminwater contains sweeteners and 120 calories

Plaintiffs: Batsheva Ackerman, Ruslan Antonov, James Koh, and Juliana Ford

Counsel: CSPI's Litigation Department, Reese LLP, and Scott + Scott, Attorneys at Law, LLP

Jurisdiction & Case Number: 1:09-cv-00395 (E.D.N.Y)