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Sparks and Caffeine: Nearly Extinguished

Sparks is all but dead. Today 13 Attorneys General announced a settlement with MillerCoors. The settlement covers this well-known brand of malt beverage with caffeine, taurine, guarana, ginseng — and essentially removes it from the US market.

The old label, in use from about 2001 until today, is on the left side above. The new label is on the right. The battery symbols, caffeine (and other ingredients) are banished.

The settlement calls for MillerCoors to reformulate Sparks and change the labels within three weeks. It also requires MillerCoors to pay $550,000 in fees within five days. Upon announcing the settlement earlier today, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said:

“Sparks is an insidious and insane drink that deservedly now is down the drain — like all stimulant-spiked alcoholic drinks should be,” Blumenthal said. “Beverages like Sparks are a witch’s brew of alcohol and caffeine, energizing drunks and encouraging dangerous, even deadly behavior. Common sense says a drink impairing judgment while conferring excess energy is a very bad idea. Studies show that these drinks lead to binge drinking, car crashes, sexual assaults and other risky behavior. They impair reactions and reasoning, but instill the illusion of alertness and energy.”

The settlement is so far-reaching, it even includes newer MillerCoors products such as Rize.

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8 Responses to “Sparks and Caffeine: Nearly Extinguished”

  1. January 11th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Sparksman says:

    Who the F is the CSPI and who the F are they to tell Miller what to do? I am so disappointed and disgusted with this country and MillerCoors. As of Jan 10, 2009, Miller has killed the real Sparks. It will now be reformulated into some wuss drink that nobody will buy or drink, no caffeine, guarana, taurine or ginseng. No more + or – on the can, no more lightning bolts, or any references to powered by, rockets, etc.

  2. April 13th, 2009 at 9:41 am

    sparkslad says:

    all this no more sparks may be true later but for now how do you feel about the fact that as of august 14,2006 sparks is being sold by the steel brewing company label of milwaukee wisconsin?

  3. December 16th, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Igniting a Controversy | bevlog | beer, wine, spirits trends | beverage blog says:

    [...] and the FTC jumped in. In November of 2009 FDA said the drinks probably should not be allowed. Caffeinated Sparks is gone, but the controversy burns [...]

  4. January 10th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Daytona Beach Limousines says:

    Prohibition in the 1920’s didn’t work, I think it is stupid to prohibit a drink from having Alcohol and Caffeine, what’s next a ban on mixing liquor with Coke? Sparks was a tasty drink its too bad they gave in.

  5. January 14th, 2010 at 5:05 am

    LK says:

    I am glad it is gone. I think the whole idea of mixing caffeine and alcohol is stupid, and most importantly, the science shows it is not safe. Sure you can mix coke with rum, but most normal folks do not think of caffine & alcohol effect. The loser(s) that market this stuff expect folks to realize that caffeine + alcohol = cool w/ this product. The only people that I can think of that would find this drink appealing is teenagers. Another way for these marketing pieces of trash at millercoors target youth, indirectly. Nice try.

  6. January 14th, 2010 at 7:18 am

    admin says:

    LK – What science shows what is not safe? Coffee Liqueur is a public health menace?

  7. May 4th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Sickofthiscrap says:

    People who think its a bad idea to drink caffeine and alcohol at the same time, don’t do it, quit trying to force your will unto others. Sure it may energize a drunk person, but you can’t blame Sparks for car crashes, sexual assault, and risky behaviour. Its the person that commits said act, stop blaming special drinks for “causing” people to do things. Not to mention all alcohol seems to have been blamed for these same things in past years. Its not the sparks, its the idiots that dont have any self control. And what about the craze of Jager bombs, with Red Bull? One of the most popular alcoholic drinks containing caffeine today. Are you going to outlaw that as well?

    STOP BLAMING THE BEVERAGE AND HOLD THE MORONS RESPONSIBLE.

  8. August 5th, 2010 at 11:38 am

    bob m. says:

    sparks was a great, refreshing after work beverage which i used to buy by the case. now, it is just not the same. and i don’t think it was marketed to “teenagers” as some people claim. i am 50, and have been drinking it since 2001. most, if not all, of my teenage daughters friends, my daughter included, had never even heard of it until i brought it home! just another way for the government to control us like the puppets they think we are.

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