MillerCoors’ popular caffeinated alcoholic beverage, Sparks, is under attack by the decidely square advocacy group, centre for Science in the Public Interest. The group claims that Sparks uses unapproved ingredients that pose health and safety risks.
Sparks dominates the market with a 60% share, and we’ve found it to be extremely popular with hipsters. Particularly those that enjoy dancing to electro dance music and brit pop. Fear not, cool people: Miller is willing to fight.
WSJ: …MillerCoors seems to be taking a firm stance against moves by regulators and consumer groups to curtail Sparks. The brewer has more at stake with Sparks than Anheuser-Busch did with its Tilt and Bud Extra drinks, which Anheuser pledged to reformulate. Sparks is the No. 1 selling drink in the caffeinated alcoholic-beverage category, with 60% market share, and SABMiller paid $215 million to acquire the brand and other products from McKenzie River Corp. in 2006.
In its suit, the centre says U.S. alcohol regulators are only supposed to permit the use of ingredients that the Federal Drug Administration has “affirmatively” determined to be “generally recognised as safe.”
The centre contends four of the food additives in Sparks — caffeine, guarana, taurine and ginseng — haven’t met that threshold for use in alcoholic drinks. A spokesman for the Tax and Trade Bureau declined to comment, but referred to a letter it sent to state attorneys general in April that said “any manufacturer can self-certify that an ingredient is ‘generally recognised as safe'” under federal guidelines.
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