The Commerce Commission says it will prosecute juice company Simply Squeezed - a trading arm of Brownlie Brothers Ltd - over promotion and labelling of juice allegedly made from pulp wash.

"The commission will prosecute ... for alleged contraventions of the Fair Trading Act," it said in a statement.

Brownlie Brothers, which ran a television advertising campaign from March to May 2008 for its Simply Squeezed chilled orange juice, was also warned by the commission that it needed to provide clearer information about the nature, content and origin of its chilled orange juice.

It produces a range of juices, nectars and smoothies under its brands Simply Squeezed, Allganics and Bay Harvest, and manufactures supermarket house brands, including the Pam's Orange Nectar for New World and Signature Range chilled orange juice for Woolworths.

A Pak'n'Save supermarket in Masterton removed all Simply Squeezed products from its shelves after finding Hawke's Bay fruit juice company Simply Squeezed was using 'WESOS' in its orange juices.

The commission alleged the company used "water extracted soluble orange solids" (WESOS) - water rinsed through the pulp left after oranges have been squeezed for juice - and juice concentrate from kinnoo or kinnow citrus, a type of mandarin grown in the Punjab regions of Pakistan and India.

Simply Squeezed has been using WESOS since 1996.

Brownlie Brothers told an untruth when it sent out a wholesale price list to the hospitality industry claiming Simply Squeezed chilled juice as 100 per cent squeezed juice, the commission said.

The price list was sent out in August 2008 and was taken out of distribution in January 2009 when it was discovered during the course of the commission's investigation.

"Consumers often make purchasing choices based on first impressions gained from the names and labels of products," said the commission's director of fair trading, Adrian Sparrow.

While the presence of New Zealand and imported squeezed orange juice, imported reconstituted orange juice, mandarin juice, sugar and preservatives were disclosed on the container's back label, the front label only had the description "chilled orange juice".

"The lack of specific qualifying information on the front label combined with the brand name Simply Squeezed may lead some consumers to believe that the juice product is purely squeezed orange juice," said Sparrow.

Brownlie Brothers told the commission the make up of the product changed according to seasonal availability of NZ oranges -- on average the juice included 40 per cent locally-squeezed fruit juice, and the rest was made up of imported reconstituted fruit juice, including pulp wash, and Kinnow juice concentrate.

"If a company chooses to use pulp wash or WESOS in its juice products ... this must be separately and clearly disclosed in the list of ingredients," the commission said.

Providing accurate information would be fairer for both consumers and competitors.

Sparrow said Brownlie Brothers said it was no longer using WESOS in its products.

Freshly Squeezed was convicted and fined $10,000 in December 2003 for breaches in relation to its Arano and Fresh Selection juice products. And Brownlie Brothers, trading as Simply Squeezed, was also prosecuted in 2004 for misrepresenting the nature, content and origin of its juice product in television and juice labels. It was fined $35,000.

Separately the Commerce Commission is considering a bid by Frucor Beverages Ltd to buy Simply Squeezed Holdings Ltd.

Simply Squeezed today said it accepted the outcome of the "costly" commission inquiry and was ready to move on.

"Our strong local links with Hawke's Bay, where we source as much of our product as we can, set us apart from many of our competitors," said Simply Squeezed chief executive Steve Brownlie.

- NZPA