Rio Beverages, the subject of a takover by The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Amatil, has been fined NZ$22,600 for breaching the Fair Trading Act.

An Auckland District Court found Rio Beverages guilty of making false and misleading claims about its "Thexton's Quality Beverages" range of products.

Rio's marketing of its Thexton-branded cranberry, orange, pink grapefruit and red grape products was emphasising their health benefits, highlighting the inclusion of echinacea and its ability "...to assist in warding off winter colds and flu".

However New Zealand authorities found that as much as 177 litres per day of the Thexton's beverage would need to be consumed by an individual if they were to get any health benefits from the echinacea.

Rio's was also fined for having less blackcurrant juice in its drink than claimed on the packaging. The Fair Trading Commission said that an increasing number of drinks were made to look like they contained fruit juice but in fact contain very low percentages of fruit juice.