Mar 9, 2019

LaCroix CEO blames poor sales on insecticide lawsuit

Multi-colored boxes of LaCroix sit on aisle shelves in a grocery store.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Shares of National Beverage Corp., the maker of popular seltzer water LaCroix, fell 16% after the company fell short of earnings expectations.

Why it matters: There's a class-action lawsuit that accuses LaCroix of having chemicals also found in cockroach insecticide. CEO Nick Caporella blamed poor sales on that lawsuit, which he referred to as an "injustice" in a statement, as clarified by a National Beverage spokesman.

This was CEO Nick Caporella's explanation for what happened:

"We are truly sorry for these results stated above. Negligence nor mismanagement nor woeful acts of God were not the reasons — much of this was the result of injustice!
"Managing a brand is not so different from caring for someone who becomes handicapped. Brands do not see or hear, so they are at the mercy of their owners or care providers who must preserve the dignity and special character that the brand exemplifies. It is important that LaCroix's true character is not devalued intentionally — in any way."

A National Beverage spokesman later clarified that the "injustice" was the class-action insecticide lawsuit. And on the CEO’s comparison of managing a brand to caring for a handicapped person, the spokesman said that Caporella meant that "it just requires a lot of tender, loving care."

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