LaCroix Doesn’t Exactly Sparkle in Its Response to Ingredients Claim
LaCroix, the sparkling water with the crazy-colorful packaging, was hit with a class action alleging that it lies about using all-natural ingredients and that its product in fact contains chemicals, including one used in cockroach insecticide. The brand’s response has been flat rather than sparkling, and one aspect brought giggles.
The suit was filed Monday, Oct. 1. For some reason, LaCroix’s parent, National Beverage Corp., in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, didn’t post a press release to its investor site until 7:25 that night. It was a fairly standard, though strongly worded, statement defending the product.
“Natural flavors in LaCroix are derived from the natural essence oils from the named fruit used in each of the flavors,” National Beverage said. “There are no sugars or artificial ingredients contained in, nor added to, those extracted flavors.” It said its suppliers vouch for that and it would sue for defamation.
The story got fairly wide coverage. The bit about the cockroach insecticide was in the first paragraph of the suing law firm’s press release, and it was catnip to the journos. The suit itself, however, garnered skepticism.
The articles continued — and continue — to bubble out, including on whether seltzer is good for you in the first place. Apparently, National Beverage had had enough. On Friday, Oct. 5 (this time at 7:29 p.m.) it posted to its investor site another press release,essentially repeating the points in the first.
Nothing about the suit has appeared on the LaCroix brand website. But apparently the heat was on enough for the company to turn to the brand’s social media. Its Twitter feed, which mostly consists of beautiful people holding or drinking the LaCroix elixir, remained its typical perky self until that Friday night, right after the statement was posted. And that’s where the company may have slipped up.
It spooled out a three-tweet thread that thanked customers for their support and reiterated that its H2O is all natural and healthy. The third tweet in the series drew the attention. “We are proud to serve LaCroix to our families, in our hospitals, and in our schools,” it said. “Please stand with us as we defend our beloved LaCroix.”
Please stand with us as we defend our beloved LaCroix.
It was that last line that brought some heavy ribbing. It was a bit over the top for countering a lawsuit concerning fizzy water (though it seemed to want to maintain the feed’s bouncy tone). It also appeared desperate. “When your drink is thirstier than you are,” one Twitter user replied. Others noted the military language: “Twitter has so weaponized conversation that even seltzer brands are doing PR using the language of war.” (LaCroix has since posted to its Twitter feed more articles in its defense.)
One other aspect of the communications response was not great. National Beverage’s Oct. 5 press release advised readers that “more information can be found at www.readthetruefacts.com.”
But that link brings you to a bizarre web presence. The site is apparently run by — and branded to — National Beverage’s law firm, not LaCroix or the parent company. It contains pictures of Florida courthouses and, bizarrely, the seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
On the other hand, articles defending LaCroix’s product have been springing up on the site, even if the links say things like “LaCroix Will Not Kill You.”
Well, that’s encouraging.
Photo Credit: LaCroix via Twitter
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