In mid-2016, Americans’ interest in LaCroix began to skyrocket, which has since grown into one of the most popular sparkling water brands on the United States market. National Beverage Corp, the creator of LaCroix, came up with the drink in 1981 as a planned competitor to Perrier. The company felt that Perrier was perceived as being too snobby, whereas LaCroix was designed to appeal to American laypeople.
Whether National Beverage Corp. succeeded in its goal or not isn’t certain, though what is clear is that LaCroix has become one of the best sparkling water market performers in the history of the domestic market.
LaCroix sales have steadily increased over the past three years and were forecasted to continue improving and eating up an increasingly larger share of the market. However, now that a lawsuit against National Beverage Corp. has surfaced, per a report from Business Insider that was published earlier today, on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, LaCroix sales have taken a nosedive for the first time in years.
Albert Dejewski is marked as the plaintiff in the case, who was a former employee of National Beverage Corp. The middle manager Dejewski alleges that Joseph Caporella, the President of the company, was planning on soon sharing with the world that the company’s aluminum cans would be free of the industrial chemical BPA, chemically known as bisphenol A, from the point of the announcement onward.
However, says Albert Dejewski, National Beverage Corp. would not actually be able to begin canning LaCroix sparkling water in the BPA-free cans until several months down the road. Although sales had been growing over the last few years for LaCroix, Caporella felt that he needed to further spark growth in National Beverage Corp.’s star product because the consistently-impressive sales had started to reach a plateau.
Although other executives at the company knew about the issue and felt similarly in disagreement with Caporella’s decision, Dejewski was ultimately asked by his peers to reach out to Caporella and express his personal concerns with the move.
Caporella shortly after fired Dejewski for speaking up about the issue. None of the other executives were fired, as they didn’t speak out to Caporella. National Beverage Corp. first announced that all of the cans used for LaCroix contained no BPA in April 2019, though we have since learned that this statement was false.
BPA is found in the thin plastic liners of drinks packaged in aluminum cans. Though the FDA claims there are no dangers with BPA and its use in aluminum-canned beverages, many others – including experts – think otherwise.