US: A-B to reformulate caffeinated drinks
Anheuser-Busch has agreed to cease production of caffeinated alcohol beverages, following pressure from several US states.
The beer giant confirmed today (27 June) that it will reformulate its Bud Extra and Tilt brands in an agreement with Attorneys General in 11 states, including California, New York and Illinois. A-B said it will reformulate both products without caffeine or other stimulants that are metabolised as caffeine, such as Guarana.
The Attorneys General had claimed that A-B had targeted its advertising for Bud Extra and Tilt towards youth in the US, a claim A-B denied. "There was no TV and little print or radio advertising of these products, and their Web sites had limited features and few unique visitors," said Francine Katz, A-B's vice president of communications and consumer affairs. "No advertiser who was actually trying to target underage people would have used such a marketing plan."
While it may take several weeks for the original versions to sell out at retail accounts, both Bud Extra and Tilt will be available for purchase at retail in a reformulated capacity once existing versions have sold out.
"We know that adults will continue to drink caffeinated cocktails like rum and Coke, coffee martinis and Red Bull and vodka," Katz added. "Nevertheless, we have determined that competing in the pre-packaged caffeinated alcohol beverage sector may detract from our reputation as the global industry leader in promoting responsibility among adults who drink and discouraging underage drinking."
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