While energy drinks have received a considerable amount of scrutiny in recent months, mostly from individuals concerned that the products are unsafe for children, it’s the sale of Marley’s Mellow Mood at a Holmdel, N.J. middle school that has a school vending agency in hot water, after some students fell ill after consuming the product.
Last Friday, officials at Satz Middle School in Holmdel, NJ stated that several students complained of lethargy, headaches and nausea after purchasing and drinking Marley’s Mellow Mood inside the school. Marley’s Mellow Mood is a relaxation drink “designed to reduce stress and relieve tension, while calming the soul and easing the mind,” according to Marley Beverage Company, the marketer of the product. The product is sold in soda and tea varieties and contains a mix of relaxation-inducing ingredients including valerian root, chamomile, and lemon balm.
The incidents, first reported by The Asbury Park Press, prompted an investigation by Chartwells School Dining Services, the food and beverage supplier for the Holmdel school district. Chartwells stated that Marley’s Mellow Mood was not approved for sale in any of the schools that it supplies and that it had removed the on-site manager in charge of food and beverage services at Satz Middle School.
“We sincerely regret that this product was sold and that students had an adverse reaction to it,” Chartwell’s statement said. “Chartwells takes great pride and care in partnering with our school communities to provide the best school dining experience possible and we take this situation very seriously.”
Kevin McClafferty, the president and CEO of Marley Beverage said that the company was “deeply saddened and concerned about the incidents” and noted that the Marley’s Mellow Mood packaging “clearly states that Marley’s Mellow Mood is not intended for consumption by children.”
“As Chartwells acknowledged in their statement, they are responsible for the selection of food and beverage products sold in the cafeteria system at W.R. Satz,” McClafferty said in a statement. “However, Chartwells is not an authorized reseller of Marley Beverages. Our company’s policy is not to sell Marley’s Mellow Mood into schools, and we have no intention of ever doing so.”
McClafferty noted that Marley Beverage has launched an internal investigation into the incidents and will release the results of its findings shortly thereafter.