Poppi Soda Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Gut Health Claim

(StraightNews.org) – Soda company Poppi is facing a class action lawsuit over its claim that it enhances gut health. “Be Gut Happy. Be Gut Healthy” is emblazoned on the Austin-based company’s soda cans, but one California consumer did her research and found the drinks contain only 2 grams of prebiotic agave inulin fiber, which she says has no impact on the gut.

Kristin Cobbs filed a suit with the US District Court in San Francisco referencing studies showing that 7.5 grams of agave inulin did not affect the gut, even if consumed daily for three weeks. Cobbs furthermore asserts that the ingredient can cause liver and that the soda’s high sugar content would cancel out any hypothetical benefits derived from 2 grams of agave inulin. She is seeking “restitution and all other forms of equitable monetary relief.”

Poppi released a statement saying the case is baseless and it intends to fight its corner. The company claimed it had “diligently innovated to provide a tasting experience that millions of people have come to enjoy.”

Founded by Allison and Stephen Ellsworth, who promoted their drink on Shark Tank in 2018, Poppi entered the market as a healthy alternative to mainstream sodas. It generated over $100 million in sales last year and is the best-selling soft drink on Amazon.

Texas company Poppi advertises its products as containing agave inulin, apple cider vinegar, and fruit juice, with a calorie count of just 25. Its website states that inulin fuels “good bacteria,” including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Kristin Cobbs, however, said it is “basically sugared water,” which she would not have bought if not for the “gut health” claims.

The newly emerging health drinks market in the US grew to almost $350 billion last year and is expected to keep rising. It is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, with citrus flavors dominating. Experts say the exploding market reflects a consumer trend that expects healthier options, even in usually sugar-dominated products.

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