LaCroix CEO Says Running Company Is Like "Caring For Someone Who Becomes Handicapped"

Perhaps a financial reporter could tell me whether it's customary for a company's quarterly earnings report to compare the business to a person with disabilities, to blame "injustice" for a fall in stock prices, and to reference something called "the LaLa feeling." I'll wait.

No, not normal? Okay, didn't think so. Thanks for clarifying. With that out of the way, let's dig into the truly bizarre press release from LaCroix's parent company, National Beverage Corp., announcing the company's lackluster third-quarter earnings. In the statement, which was presumably read by more than one person, chairman and CEO Nick A. Caporella says he is "truly sorry" for the disappointing earnings. What follows is a full quote from his statement, lest anyone think it's taken out of context:

Negligence nor mismanagement nor woeful acts of God were not the reason—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.

Moving on. Caporella then extols the special virtues of the LaCroix brand and cites its fervent consumer following— "'We just love our LaCroix,' consumers chant"—stating customers' enthusiasm for "that LaLa feeling." The press release ends with a tagline toward the bottom: "'Patriotism'–If Only We Could Bottle It!"

Unfortunately, I can provide no interpretation or context for Capella's remarks. I do not know what injustices he's referring to (perhaps the "pesticides" accusations?), nor do I have any clue as to why a metaphor about disabilities seemed most apt. But, I can say that this is not the first time Capella's words have raised eyebrows. In 2017, an all-caps, exclamation-point press release from the company stated, in part: "If you have the opinion that I, Nick A. Caporella, am angrily exercised while extremely fortunate to be guiding [National Beverage Corp.], your opinion is quite accurate!"

Who knew sparkling water was such a heated subject?