Tag Archives energy drinks

The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior has published a study in which youth aged 12-25 suggested strategies to reduce youth energy-drink consumption. Jacinta Francis, et al., “Informing Intervention Strategies to Reduce Energy Drink Consumption in Young People: Findings From Qualitative Research,” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, October 2017. Researchers reportedly found that while the subjects were familiar with energy drinks, they did not agree as to whether the term included coffee, sports drinks, nutritional supplements and soft drinks. Some were apparently aware that the drinks contained caffeine and sugar, the study noted, but few were aware they contained other ingredients or could explain how the drinks allegedly work. The participants also said advertising, promotions and peer pressure influenced consumption. They suggested five strategies to reduce consumption: (i) restrictions on sales and availability; (ii) changes in packaging; (iii) price increases; (iv) reducing visibility in retail outlets; and (v) research…

Red Bull GmbH has filed a notice of opposition with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) alleging that a mark used by Bull By The Horns Fitness is too similar to its own name, mark and logo. Red Bull GmbH v. Bull By The Horns Fitness, No. 91236158 (TTAB, filed August 16, 2017). The fitness club applied for a mark that shows a man holding a sideways-facing charging bull, while Red Bull’s marks also show a sideways-facing charging bull. Red Bull argues that its mark has been extensively used in sports and fitness promotion and training services and opposes the application for likelihood of confusion, dilution and false suggestion of a connection.   Issue 645

A federal court has denied class certification to plaintiffs in multidistrict litigation involving false advertising claims for 5­-Hour Energy® drinks, finding they failed to allege that common issues predominate over individual ones, including a common definition of “energy.” In re 5-­Hour Energy Mktg. and Sales Practices Litig., No. 13-­2438 (C.D. Cal., order entered June 7, 2017). The plaintiffs could not establish the definition of “energy,” the court found, because they defined it as “caloric energy” based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration dietary­-supplement standards but did not show that consumers interpret “energy” the same way. In addition, plaintiffs in California, Missouri and New Mexico proposed a theory of liability based on underfilling, alleging that the product provided only 3.7 minutes of caloric energy instead of five hours, while plaintiffs in other states did not argue for the theory.   Issue 637

The Seattle City Council has approved a tax on distributors of sugar­-sweetened beverages (SSBs) proposed by the city’s mayor. SSBs covered by the tax include sports, fruit, energy and soft drinks as well as flavored syrups commonly used in coffee drinks. Baby formula, medications, weight-­loss drinks, fruit juice and diet soft drinks are exempt from the tax. See Seattle Times, June 5, 2017.   Issue 637

Red Bull North America lost its motion to dismiss a $60-­million wrongful ­death lawsuit involving a man who drank four cans of the energy drink every day for five years. Lemley v. Red Bull N. Am., No. 17-­33 (S.D. Ga., order entered May 16, 2017). The suit alleges that reports dating back to 2000 show energy drinks cause fatal cardiovascular injuries to consumers. The court found the plaintiff had adequately pleaded the elements of fraud and the complaint stated a valid claim for relief. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released adverse reports involving energy drinks in 2012—including reports of cardiovascular symptoms—but its investigation found no causal link between the drinks and the alleged injuries and deaths. In addition to damages for tort claims, the plaintiff is seeking $30 million in punitive damages.   Issue 635

Energy­-drink company Rockstar faces a putative class action alleging the company underfilled cans of its coffee drinks, giving the company an unfair competitive advantage and shortchanging consumers. Podawiltz v. Rockstar, Inc., No. 17­-0477 (D. Ore., filed March 26, 2017). The plaintiff claims he bought several cans of Rockstar’s coffee drinks labeled “15 fl oz [473 ml],” but that independent lab testing showed the cans contained an average of 443 milliliters, about six percent less. For an alleged violation of the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act, the plaintiff seeks class certification, injunctive relief, an accounting, restitution, damages and attorney’s fees.   Issue 629

Two people have been convicted of conspiracy in charges related to a scheme to distribute counterfeit 5-Hour Energy drinks. United States v. Shayota, No. 15-0264 (N.D. Cal., verdict entered November 28, 2016). The couple, Joseph and Adriana Shayota, produced several million bottles of a drink manufactured under unsanitary conditions and labeled the drink with 5-Hour Energy's packaging. Before beginning that scheme, the couple reportedly bought 5-Hour Energy drinks intended for the Mexican market, repackaged them and sold them in the United States for a price well below the retail price. Six other defendants pleaded guilty to similar charges, and 5-Hour Energy maker Living Essentials won a $20-million civil judgment in March 2016. See Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2016.   Issue 624

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the latest statistics on sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption in 23 states and the District of Columbia, concluding that, in 2013, approximately 30 percent of surveyed adults reported drinking at least one SSB per day. Sohyun Park, et al., “Prevalence of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake Among Adults—23 States and the District of Columbia, 2013,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Feb. 26, 2016. Relying on data gathered via Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) telephone survey, the study refined previous questionnaires to solicit information about the consumption of sweet tea and energy drinks in addition to regular soda and sweetened fruit beverages. The results evidently indicate that “at least once daily SSB intake was most common among persons aged 18–24 years (43.3%), men (34.1%), blacks (39.9%), persons who reported being unemployed (34.4%), and persons with less than a high school education (42.4%).” Across…

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published its final caffeine risk assessment, concluding that “single doses of caffeine up to 200 mg” and “habitual caffeine consumption up to 400 mg per day does not give rise to safety concerns for non-pregnant adults.” Following a two-month consultation, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA Panel) issued a scientific opinion considering “possible interactions” between caffeine and energy drink constituents, alcohol, p-synephrine, and physical exercise. The data evidently indicated no safety concerns when non-pregnant adults consume up to 200 mg of caffeine (i) less than 2 hours before intense physical exercise, (ii) in combination with energy drink ingredients such as taurine or d-glucurono-γ-lactone at typical concentrations, or (iii) in combination with alcohol at doses up to 0.65 g/kg body weight (bw). “The single doses of caffeine considered to be of no concern for adults (3mg/kg bw per day) may…

A New York federal court has reportedly approved an agreement between Red Bull GmbH and a class of consumers, settling allegations that Red Bull falsely advertised its product as providing more benefit than coffee provides. Careathers v. Red Bull N. Am. Inc., No. 13-0369 (S.D.N.Y., order entered May 1, 2015); Wolf v. Red Bull GmbH, No. 13-8008 (S.D.N.Y., order entered May 1, 2015). The agreement allots $13 million to the 2 million claimants, of whom 60 percent will each receive $4.23 and 40 percent will each receive a four-pack of Red Bull energy drinks. The court cut the fees for plaintiffs’ counsel down to about $3.4 million, or about $1.4 million less than they requested; the attorney’s fees and class award were not linked, and the court apparently indicated that it would have preferred to lower the attorney’s fees amount to increase the total consumer amount to accommodate the large…

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