Press Clips: NYT Discovers Juice; They Put WHAT in Energy Drinks?

The surging popularity of high pressure processing and cold-pressed juice has seized the attention of The New York Times, a publication that’s — apparently — fashionably late to this news.

In a story published on Tuesday titled “The Juice-Bar Brawl,” reporter Jeff Gordinier visited the BluePrint factory in Queens, N.Y., and noticed a Norwalk juicer not far from a conveyor belt and vats of juice.

“Seven years ago, in a catering kitchen in Chelsea, Zoë Sakoutis and Erica Huss hatched BluePrint with nothing more than that humble appliance,” Gordinier writes.

The story details the changing perception of juice’s identity among consumers and how it has been a significant part of the industry’s growth, noting BluePrint’s annual sales of $20 million and its acquisition last year by food and beverage conglomerate Hain Celestial.

“For consumers and entrepreneurs, a realization took hold: juice did not have to be part of a challenging, expensive cleanse. It could be simply be lunch,” he writes.

While juice companies like BluePrint have produced mostly optimistic news, stories about energy drinks continue to bring up the bad stuff — even when that bad stuff doesn’t have anything to do with energy drinks. A story in Monday’s Boston Globe explains that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to marketers of  energy drinks and supplements that contain the stimulant dimethylamylamine (DMAA).

The FDA is currently “using all available tools at its disposal” to prevent the sale of the supplement, which has been associated in reports with heart attacks, seizures, psychiatric problems and deaths. Only one problem with the story’s assertion: the FDA warning never mentions energy drinks. As far as we can tell, that’s because energy drinks don’t seem to use the supplement.

“FDA has warned companies known to be using DMAA in dietary supplements that those products containing this ingredient are illegal,” the agency said on its website.

In yet another sign of the increasing concern for the potential risks commonly associated with energy drinks, a story in The Washington Times notes that Los Angeles police have been told to enforce restrictions on kids that buy too many energy drinks.

Citing an NBC report, Cheryl K. Chumley writes that councilman Bernard Parks, who previously headed the L.A. Police Department, wants more labels on energy drinks. Parks said that many kids are drinking seven to 10 times more caffeine than if they were drinking a regular carbonated soft drink.

The stringencies of the FDA and the L.A. Police Department occur around the same time as the release of a report by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) that condemns energy drink companies for inconsistent labels and for marketing directly at young people.