US: MillerCoors reformulates Sparks, removes caffeine
MillerCoors has bowed to pressure from a coalition of state attourneys general in the US and agreed to remove a range of ingredients, including caffeine, from its Sparks drink.
MillerCoors said today (18 December) that it has decided to remove caffeine, taurine, guarana and ginseng from Sparks, following criticism from attourneys general in 25 US states.
The brewer will also cease production and promotion of all caffeinated alcohol beverages by 10 January 2009, and has agreed to pay US$550,000 to cover costs incurred by the attourneys general during their campaign.
Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal, leading the coalition, said that the drinks' mix of alcohol and caffeine content constituted a "danger" to young people.
Tom Long, president and chief commercial officer of MillerCoors, said Sparks had been marketed responsibly to consumers of legal drinking age.
The reformulated drink will remain on sale. "We believe we can and will expand interest and growth with a reformulated product and we remain committed to the Sparks franchise," said Long.
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