The La Croix Controversy

By Elizabeth Fedro

Over the past several months, a new phenomenon has risen regarding the top-selling sparkling water, La Croix. The question at the root of the phenomenon is whether or not its claims of “natural-essence” stand true. La Croix has been internationally ranked as one of the best brands of sparkling water for years, but just recently, its sales and revenue have experienced a downfall. In October 2018, a lawsuit was filed against the company, claiming it falsely advertises the “natural-essence” of the beverage. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) contended LaCroix’s usage of the word “natural” is meaningless. The OCA is claiming the product’s ingredients are not regulated, nor defined, by the FDA. Both the OCA and FDA deem the ingredients “un-natural synthetic, and artificial”. The case reported allegations of the beverage containing toxic chemicals, like limonene (potentially causes tumors), linalool propionate (used to treat cancer), and linalool (used in cockroach insecticide).

The case caused an outrage from the company’s consumers. Not only did the company’s profit slump 39.6%, but its revenue fell 2.9% during the period of chaos. These plummeting rates halted during the end of January when the Natural Beverage Corporation released results from an independent study, conclusively proving that LaCroix contains no trace of artificial or synthetic ingredients.

The Natural Beverage Corporation asserted the ingredients in sparkling water have been confirmed to be “derived from natural sources” by a certified laboratory.  The corporation proved all allegations were “false, defamatory and intended to intentionally damage National Beverage and its shareholders”. Popular Science has also chimed into this controversy, claiming even if the beverage contained supposed unnatural, insecticide-infested ingredients, they do not qualify as synthetic and are not dangerous as the lawsuit suggests. It was confirmed that there are no sugars or artificial ingredients added to these extracted flavors. All in all, LaCroix lovers can rest easy as these headlines and rumors are misleading to its consumers .

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