I suggest you use the newer Bend Deformer operator instead of the old Bend operator. The Bend Deformer operator exposes more options to play around with.
What To Do
Apply the Bend Deformer onto the Text with the following settings:
- Default Axis: Y
- Bend Rotation = (x, y, z) = (0, 0, 90)
- Angle: play around with it until the text curves properly. Start small.
Here's a sample scene to play around with. The correct settings are applied to the text on the red cup.
Why It Works
You select Default Axis = Y because, you want to bend around the y-axis. By putting Bend Rotation = (0, 0, 90), the text mesh is rotated 90 degrees on the Z axis before any bending occurs. This way, the bending happens along the correct direction.
BTW - the bending is still happening even when you don't change the Bend Rotation. It just happens along the wrong direction. Since the text mesh doesn't have any subdivisions in the z direction, the result looks weird. You can see this effect better in the sample scene I linked, with the Box and Box_segmented nodes.