Possible outcomes of the launch
Launching a new energy shot product presents a moral dilemma. Most energy shots are aimed at teenagers and young adults, and this target audience is known to put more trust into the ‘street cred’ of the product, rather than medical and government advise, so there is an opportunity for carving some share of the market, especially if we deliberately exploit the ‘rebel’ aspect of our product. On the other hand, given the ongoing media hype, there is also a chance of attracting negative publicity and becoming a scapegoat for the regulators. Eventually, this can result in long-term reputational damage and substantial (and unpredictable) litigation costs. We could, however, turn the situation to our advantage by launching a drink that will be based on a different stimulator than the notorious mix of caffeine and guarana – as long as it is technologically viable. Such drink would comply with the Food Safety Authority’s caffeine concentration standards and could be classified as a formulated caffeine beverage. We could then market it as a healthier alternative to the popular energy shots, so that it appeals both to the target audience and the general public. 2.
The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC) mandates that a formulated caffeine beverage must contain 145 to 320 milligrams of caffeine per litre1 (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009). Popular energy shots do not comply with this requirement: for instance, a 2-ounce Demon Energy Shot contains 200 mg of caffeine, i.e. 3333 milligrams of caffeine per litre (Energy Fiend, 2009). The trick here is that the producers label their drinks as dietary supplements which are exempt from the FSC requirements. However, it is not entirely unlikely that a legal clampdown on energy shots will follow: in Australia, the government of New South Wales aims to ban non-compliant energy drinks (AAP, 2009); back in New Zealand, retailers are pressed to restrict the sale of energy...
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