Cocaine Energy hit the market in 2006. It’s understandable why so many people were shocked by this beverage launch—simply look at the name. For most of us, when hearing the word cocaine, we’re instantly reminded of the illegal drug that at one time ran rampant around the world (and in some places, still does). Luckily, Cocaine Energy doesn’t contain drugs, but that didn’t stop them from using their unique name choice to promote their new product.
Unfortunately for Redux Beverages, the company that released Cocaine Energy, shortly after their drinks hit the market, they were banned. You may be curious as to why. The answer isn’t as simple as you may think but it does center around the promotion and warnings they included in the advertising campaign. We’ll break it all down below.
Why Did the FDA Step In?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to step in and contact Redux about Cocaine Energy for several reasons. Let’s take a look at each one.
Of course, the name was the first issue that grabbed people’s attention. For those who spoke up against Cocaine Energy, the idea of using the name of such a powerful drug seemed like a bit too much. For people who have family members or loved ones who have dealt with cocaine abuse and overdose, making light of a drug of this magnitude was upsetting. Not to mention the fact that it promotes the concept of a “cocaine drink” as being acceptable and even promoted, particularly in the eyes of more susceptible (and possibly younger) customers.
In a statement made by Cocaine Energy’s creator, Jamey Kirby showed his thoughts on the name and what it meant to the product’s success. He said, “When a person sees the name of the drink, some psychological effect happens and the person is already experiencing the buzz before they even open the can.”
One of the things that upset the Food and Drug Administration was the warning label placed on each can of Cocaine Energy. It read, “Warning – this beverage should be consumed by responsible adults. Failure to adhere to this warning may result in excess excitement, stamina, fun, and a possible feeling of euphoria.”
As you can imagine, the FDA, and many consumers, felt this warning didn’t cover the high caffeine content of these drinks and the possible dangers it could pose. It also made a product named after a drug seems fun and inviting to people of all ages. This is especially true given that the number of youth drinking highly-caffeinated beverages has spiked over the past several years.
The Energy Claims
Another reason Cocaine Energy Drinks found themselves the target of the FDA is the claims they made about the energy the drink could provide and the caffeine inside. While Red Bull is considered the pioneer of the energy drink world, Cocaine Energy didn’t mind stepping on a few toes. One of their biggest claims is that it is 350% stronger than Red Bull. With its whopping 280 milligrams of caffeine in an 8.4-ounce can, compared to Red Bull’s 68 milligrams of caffeine in the same drink size, this is understandable
Back in the Game
After some time, the team at Redux and the FDA worked out their problems. For those who were fans of Cocaine Energy, they are back on the market since 2019. Unfortunately, not every country in the world is willing to carry the brand. Whether it’s due to the name or the clever warning, Australia and New Zealand have both decided not to carry these drinks. It’s important to remember that Australia has restrictions on the amount of caffeine allowed in their drinks and this is another primary reason Cocaine Energy isn’t to be sold there.
While there were several reasons for the Cocaine Energy Drink ban, these drinks are back on the market. The provocative name, warning labels, and energy claims may have brought the FDA down on the Redux Beverage company, but it didn’t stop them completely in their tracks. If you want to give this drink a try, you’ll find one, if you live in a country that allows it.