- Splash Beverage Group has filed a claim against KonaRed Corporation, maker of coffeeberry-based beverages and supplements, due to KonaRed allegedly not adhering to the companies' distribution agreement.
- KonaRed recently announced that it would be moving its sales and distribution in-house to increase control and oversight over its inventory management and operations logistics, according to a December news release.
- KonaRed's distribution agreement with Splash Beverage began in January 2014, and KonaRed expanded that partnership in April 2014 to also include rights to sales and marketing.
"KonaRed Corporation does not see merit to the claims against us. The matter is now before the courts and we will defer any further comments at this time," KonaRed founder and CEO Shaun Roberts told BevNET.
Lawsuits have been common in the beverage industry, though they have primarily involved either trademark infringement, such as Diageo's Captain Morgan lawsuit against Captain Amsterdam, or misleading claims, such as the class action lawsuit against MillerCoors due to Blue Moon's craft beer claims. Sazerac let go of its lawsuit against Jack Daniel's last month.
Beverage companies like KonaRed have been gaining traction in an environment where soda, particularly diet soda, is losing its beverage market share to options like bottled water, RTD tea, and natural fruit juices, though said juices also cause concerns for consumers.