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Poppi prebiotic soda isn't as healthy as it claims to be, lawsuit alleges

The lawsuit claims Poppi only contains 2 grams of prebiotics per can, which is too small of an amount to "cause meaningful gut health benefits for the consumer from just one can."
Functional Beverages Poppi Soda
Posted at 1:22 PM, Jun 01, 2024

A lawsuit was filed this week against the company that makes Poppi prebiotic soda claiming the beverage is not as “gut healthy” as it’s advertised to be.

Plaintiff Kristin Cobbs of San Francisco filed the class action lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of herself and “similarly situated” consumers of Poppi in the Northern District of California against the parent company, VNGR Beverage LLC, based in Austin, Texas.

According to Poppi’s website, the soda is made with fruit juice, apple cider vinegar and inulin prebiotics — which can help with regulating bowel movements, stabilizing blood sugar and maintaining the good bacteria in your gut, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

But the lawsuit claims Poppi only contains 2 grams of prebiotics per can, which is too small of an amount to “cause meaningful gut health benefits for the consumer from just one can.”

“Accordingly, a consumer would need to drink more than four Poppi sodas in a day to realize any potential health benefits from its prebiotic fiber. However, even if a consumer were to do this, Poppi’s high sugar content would offset most, if not all, of these purported gut health benefits,” the lawsuit states.

Cobbs said she purchased the sodas because they were labeled and marketed as a prebiotic soda made “for a healthy gut,” along with the slogan “Be Gut Happy. Be Gut Healthy.” But in reality, according to the lawsuit, the sodas did not improve her gut, and excessive consumption could have negatively impacted her health.

The lawsuit also cites studies that show consuming too much agave inulin — the type of prebiotic found in Poppi — can actually have adverse health effects, particularly on someone who has preexisting digestive issues.

"We are proud of the Poppi brand and stand behind our products. We are on a mission to revolutionize soda for the next generation of soda drinkers, and we have diligently innovated to provide a tasting experience that millions of people have come to enjoy," said a representative for the company in a statement provided to Scripps News. "We believe the lawsuit is baseless, and we will vigorously defend against these allegations."

Poppi was founded in 2016 by a husband-and-wife duo as a healthy alternative to traditional sodas. The brand gained more popularity after an appearance and investment from “Shark Tank.”

“Along the way, we’ve become beloved by some new besties like Post Malone, Hailey Bieber, Kylie Jenner, Billie Eilish, Russell Westbrook, JLo, Olivia Munn, and more,” Poppi’s website states.