"Managing a brand is not so different from caring for someone who becomes handicapped." Nick A. Caporella, who is CEO of the company that makes La Croix, said this, in 2019.
National Beverage Corporation is the maker of millennial-popular fizzy water La Croix.
During the company's earnings call on Thursday, 82-year-old CEO Nick A. Caporella made a series of bizarre remarks to excuse the company's poor earnings, invoking "acts of God," blaming "injustice," and comparing brand management to caring for a disabled person.
"Managing a brand is not so different from caring for someone who becomes handicapped," Caporella said on the earnings call, to investors.
"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."
Last year, Mr. Caporella was accused of "inappropriate touching" by two male pilots who flew private jets for him.
The company that makes the LaCroix brand of sparkling water headlined a Thursday earnings release, "'We Just Love Our LaCroix' Consumers Chant," and it only got weirder from there. Besides a boilerplate first sentence stating what results National Beverage was announcing and the numbers, the entire release was a long, rather unhinged quote from Caporella.
"We are truly sorry for these results stated above," the three-paragraph quote began. "Negligence nor mismanagement nor woeful acts of God were not the reasons — much of this was the result of injustice!"
Caporella's rant did not specify exactly what injustice caused National Beverage to sell fewer cans of flavored sparkling water than was expected. Instead, he moved on an awkward metaphor, comparing his job of managing a company that sells packaged drinks to caring for a disabled person.
"Managing a brand is not so different from caring for someone who becomes handicapped," Caporella said. "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."
Both Caporella and LaCroix have faced troublesome accusations of late. Caporella has been accused of inappropriate touching by two pilots, The Wall Street Journal reported in July, and a class-action lawsuit filed last year accuses LaCroix — which is billed as "naturally essenced" sparkling water — of false advertising for using artificial ingredients.
A National Beverage spokesman said that the injustice of which Caporella spoke was the class-action lawsuit, which accuses LaCroix of containing chemicals also found in cockroach insecticide. On the comparison of managing a brand and caring for a handicapped person, he said that Caporella meant that "it just requires a lot of tender, loving care."
Time for a new beverage, La Croix, you need to get out of my refrigerator.