Press Clips: New Study Links Energy Drinks to Cardiac Risk

Energy Drinks Linked to Cardiac Risk in Persons with Long QT Syndrome

A new study published in the International Journal of Cardiology has identified a link between caffeinated energy drinks and cardiac “events” — including heart attacks — in individuals with a family history of Long QT Syndrome (LQTS), a rare condition which causes a rapid, irregular heartbeat. LQTS affects about 1 in 2,000 people and can cause seizures, fainting, and sudden death.

According to the Australian-based study, “even small amounts of energy drinks can cause changes in the heart that can lead to life-threatening arrhythmias.” Study participants were given two sugar-free Red Bulls, which combined include 160 mg of caffeine and 2000 mg of taurine, and 12.5 percent of the participants showed a dangerous level of heartrate disruption.

Survey: Consumers Find Bottled Water Labels Confusing

If you’re hoping to project a crystal-clear brand image, then using phrases like “Vapor Distilled” and “Alkaline Infused” may be making your bottled water’s identity murkier for consumers.

A new study by market researcher ZappiStore is claiming that consumers find many of the phrases on bottled water labels “confusing.” While U.S. consumers responded positively to certain phrases, including “artesian sourced,” “glacial water,” and “purified tap water,” other marketing terms can be head-scratching for large swaths of consumers. Thirty-five percent of Americans, for example, found the phrase “vapour distilled” to be confusing.

Clear phrases such as “mineral water” and “spring water” performed the best.

Hawai’i Cider Co. Closes Crowdfunding Campaign

Hawai’i Cider Co. closed a crowdsourced funding campaign last week with $503,613 raised from 401 investors, setting the ground for the young company to open the doors on its new cidery. The company, which was launched by the founders of organic energy drink and tea brand Hawaiian Ola, will use locally grown fruits, including more exotic hard cider flavors including dragon fruit, white pineapple, and lychee.

The company used lesser-known crowdfunding website Wefunder. In addition, Hawai’i Cider Co. has raised $1.45 million in start-up capital.

“Rather than isolating community stakeholders, we want to work with shoppers by making them shareholders of everything we do,” Founder and CEO Brett Jacobson said of the Wefunder campaign.

Venice Brands Makes First Investment in Osso Good

Venice Brands, a new consumer-focused venture capital fund, announced last week it has invested in The Osso Good Company, the first major funding for the frozen bone broth company. Speaking to Project NOSH, a BevNET sister publication, Venice Brands CEO Greg Willsey did not disclose the terms of the deal, but said the firm typically writes checks between $1 to $5 million in exchange for 25 to 40 percent of a company.

“With this brand, I love the very high quality ingredients, the proprietary production process, and the unique and delicious flavor profiles,” Willsey told NOSH. “When I look at the data it’s very compelling but most of all, when you’re doing this and you think about who you want to partner with, you want to partner with nice, genuine mission driven, honest people like [the founders of Osso].”

Osso is currently sold in only six retail locations, and most of its sales are direct-to-consumer. However, since launching in 2015 the company has seen rapid growth, selling more than 100,000 units in 2016.

NYC Coffee Shop Claims Starbucks Plagiarized Unicorn Frappuccino

Starbucks got big buzz last month with the announcement of its decadent, pink and blue Unicorn Frappuccino. But a New York City cafe is now saying the coffee giant stepped into trademarked territory.

In a court filing, The End Brooklyn and its parent company Montauk Juice Factory claim the cafe launched its own pink and blue “Unicorn Latte” in December, four months before Starbucks unveiled its Unicorn Frappuccino. According to Reuters, on January 20, Montauk Juice Factory filed a trademark application for the name “Unicorn Latte” after its popularity skyrocketed, making up a quarter of The End Brooklyn’s sales since it launched.

The lawsuit asks the court to require Starbucks to pay all profits from the Unicorn Frappuccino to Montauk Juice Factory, in addition to damages accounting for losses it incurred.

In response, Starbucks said the suit was without merit and noted that the Unicorn Frappuccino was only offered for a limited time in April and is no longer available.