New York AG Investigates Energy-Drink Marketing Practices

By:  Brian Koenig
08/31/2012
       
New York AG Investigates Energy-Drink Marketing Practices

 The attorney general of New York has launched an investigation into whether the energy-drink industry is misleading consumers about the ingredients and overall health effects of its products. Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas to three manufacturers — including Monster Beverage Corp., Living Essentials LLC, and PepsiCo Inc., which manufactures the popular AMP energy beverage — last month requesting details regarding the firms’ marketing and advertising practices.

 The attorney general of New York has launched an investigation into whether the energy-drink industry is misleading consumers about the ingredients and overall health effects of its products. Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas last month to three manufacturers — including PepsiCo Inc., which manufactures the popular AMP energy beverage; Monster Beverage Corp.; and Living Essential LLC — requesting details regarding the firms’ marketing and advertising practices.

Energy drinks rank among the fastest-growing products in the beverage industry, with U.S. retail sales spiking 16 percent last year to a sizable $8.9 billion. Leading the United States in sales is Monster Beverage Corp., just ahead of Rockstar Inc. and the Austrian-based Red Bull GmbH.

The super-caffeinated drinks are often sweetened with flavors such as grape, cherry, or mixed berry, formulated to boost energy with a blend of ingredients including ginseng, taurine, and B-vitamins. Branding ingredients into the marketing of its products, AMP’s website asserts that the caffeine and B-vitamins in its “Boost” drinks provide consumers with “the kick you need to tackle the early morning meeting.”

The AG's investigation targets whether energy-drink makers are deceiving consumers with false or misleading labeling and advertising. While the probe is currently targeting only three companies, it could extend to other manufacturers, according to a source familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal reports:

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