Energy drinks belong to the non-alcoholic beverage category. They are defined as functional beverages which aim to boost both mental and physical energy. As stimulants most drinks contain caffeine, taurine, vitamins and some kind of sweetener.
Teens and young adults perceive energy drinks as being performance enhancers. Since hitting the market, energy drinks have been discussed heavily in the press regarding potential health risks, especially if consumed by children. The high amount of caffeine in energy drinks is suspected to cause the heart to race and blood pressure to rise, which may lead to elevated heart risks.
In the U.S. retail landscape, Red Bull was ranked as leading energy brand in 2018, based on sales. The brand is owned by Red Bull Company, which is headquartered in Fuschl am See in Austria. In mid 2014, Red Bull was subject in the press regarding its marketing slogan ‘Red Bull gives you wings’, which the firm has been using for about two decades. Some disappointed U.S. consumers claimed that the functional beverage didn’t give them wings and didn’t help them to enhance their performance or alertness. They filed an U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of misleading and false advertising claims. Red Bull has agreed to reimburse class members who have purchased the energy drink brand during the last 12 years.