Red Bull

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Red Bull
File:Red Bull.png
Type Energy drink
Country of origin Thailand
Color Amber
Variants Original, Sugarfree
Related products Red Bull Cola
Website www.redbull.com

Red Bull is an energy drink. Red Bull is an adaptation of the Thai energy drink Krating Daeng, which translates as "Red Gaur". Based on market share, it is the most popular energy drink in the world.[citation needed] The company was founded by Thai national Chaleo Yoovidhya and Austrian national Dietrich Mateschitz. Together with his son, Chaleo owns a controlling 51 percent interest in the company; however, Mateschitz is responsible for the company's operations through the Austrian company Red Bull GmbH.[1]

Red Bull's slogan is "it gives you wings" and the product is aggressively marketed through advertising, tournament sponsorship (Red Bull Air Race, Red Bull Crashed Ice), sports team ownerships (Red Bull Racing, Red Bull New York) and celebrity endorsements. In 2009 it was discovered that Red Bull Cola exported from Austria contained trace amounts of cocaine.[2][3][4][5][6] Red Bull has also been the target of criticism concerning the possible health risks associated with the drink.[7]

Contents

History

Red Bull took many marketing and ingredient ideas from an energy drink in Thailand called Krating Daeng (Krating Daeng translates to "red bull" in Thai). Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian entrepreneur, developed the Red Bull Energy Drink brand. Mateschitz was the international marketing director for Blendax, a toothpaste company, when he visited Thailand in 1982 and discovered that Krating Daeng helped to cure his jet lag.[8] Between 1984 and 1987, Mateschitz worked with TC Pharmaceutical (a Blendax licensee) to adapt Krating Daeng for the European market.

At the same time Mateschitz and Chaleo Yoovidhya founded Red Bull GmbH; each investing $500,000 of savings and taking a stake in the new company. Chaleo and Dietrich each held a 49% share of the new company. They gave the remaining 2% to Chaleo's son Chalerm, but it was agreed that Mateschitz would run the company.[9] The product was launched in 1987, in a carbonated format which is not as sweet as Krating Daeng.[citation needed]

Red Bull was launched in Hungary, its first foreign market in 1992.[10] It entered the United States market (via California) in 1997[10] and the Middle East in 2000.[11] In 2008, Forbes magazine listed both Chaleo and Mateschitz as being the 260th richest persons in the world with an estimated net worth of $4.0 billion.[12][13]

Ingredients

Red Bull contains taurine, glucuronolactone, caffeine, B vitamins, sucrose and glucose. Red Bull sugar-free also contains phenylalanine in place of sucrose and glucose.[14]

Red Bull GmbH also manufactures Red Bull Cola, containing the coca leaf, which has sparked a controversy in Germany regarding minute traces of cocaine.[15]

Health effects

A review published in 2008 found no documented reports of negative health effects associated with the taurine used in the amounts found in most energy drinks, including Red Bull.[16] Commonly reported adverse effects due to caffeine used in the quantities present in Red Bull are insomnia, nervousness, headache, and tachycardia (see Caffeine intoxication). A 2008 position statement issued by the National Federation of State High School Associations made the following recommendations about energy drink consumption, in general, by young athletes:[17]

  1. Water and appropriate sports drinks should be used for rehydration as outlined in the NFHS Document “Position Statement and Recommendations for Hydration to Minimize the Risk for Dehydration and Heat Illness.”
  2. Energy drinks should not be used for hydration.
  3. Information about the absence of benefit and the presence of potential risk associated with energy drinks should be widely shared among all individuals who interact with young athletes.
  4. Energy drinks should not be consumed by athletes who are dehydrated.
  5. Energy drinks should not be consumed without prior medical approval, by athletes taking over the counter or prescription medications.

Cardiovascular effects

The results of a study conducted in 2008 showed that the ingestion of one, 250ml can of sugar-free Red Bull, in a sample of 30 healthy young adults, had an immediate detrimental effect on both endothelial function, and normal blood coagulation. This temporarily raised the cardiovascular risk in these individuals to a level comparable to that of an individual with established coronary artery disease.[7]

Based on their results, researchers involved with the study cautioned against the consumption of Red Bull in individuals under stress, in those with high blood pressure, or in anyone with established atherosclerotic disease.[18] Red Bull representatives, however, stated that this observed increase in cardiovascular risk was not felt to be different from that associated with drinking a regular cup of coffee. They also stated that they believed that Red Bull must be safe, as it was felt the only way Red Bull could have such substantial global sales is if various health authorities had concluded the drink safe to consume.

There has been at least one case report of Red Bull overdose causing postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome in a young athlete.[19] A February 3, 2009 article in The Daily Telegraph called, "Red Bull 'may have triggered heart condition that killed student'" reported on the death of a 21 year-old woman who died after drinking four cans of Red Bull and several VKs, a vodka based drink which also contains caffeine. It was believed, but had not been proven, that she suffered from a rare heart condition called long QT Syndrome.[20] She was on medication for epilepsy. A medical examination found that there were no illegal drugs in her system. The article quoted a doctor as saying, "The QT levels may have grown over a few years, or it may have been artificially pushed over the limit by caffeine".[21]

Cocaine controversy

In April and June 2009, batches of "Red Bull Cola" drinks imported from Austria were found to contain between 0.1 - 0.3 micrograms of cocaine per litre, according to Hong Kong officials. In Taiwan it was found that the importer was due to launch a marketing campaign the next day. In Taiwan it is punishable by death, or a life sentence in prison to import cocaine. In Germany 11 out of 16 states had already banned the drinks by 25 May 2009.[2][3][4][5][6]

Testing of Red Bull Energy Drink and its variations has shown that a person with a low tolerance for cocaine would have to consume two million cans of the drink in a single sitting before becoming critically ill from the cocaine.[22] However, this finding is irrelevant since distribution of cocaine is illegal at any quantity in Taiwan. At this point, no further action has been taken on the matter in Taiwan.

Red Bull's claims

Red Bull[23] claims to:

  • Increase performance
  • Increase concentration and reaction speed
  • Improve vigilance
  • Improve emotional status
  • Stimulate metabolism

Caffeine content

Red Bull's invigorating effects are attributed to its high caffeine content. A single can of Red Bull contains 80 mg/8.3 fl oz of caffeine. This is about the same as one cup of normal coffee, or slightly less depending on the brewing method [24] The actual caffeine level in Red Bull can vary depending on country, as some countries have legal restrictions on how much caffeine is allowed in drinks.

Red Bull drinkers may experience adverse effects as a result of caffeine. See Caffeine#Overuse.

Legal status

Red Bull has been subject to bans in France, Denmark and Norway. The ban has been lifted in Norway and Denmark.[25] The French ban was challenged by the European Commission and (partially) upheld by the European Court of Justice in 2004.

Advertising

File:2009-04-18 Red Bull car in Durham.jpg
A common Red Bull Cola campaign car
File:David Coulthard USA 2006.jpg
A 2006 Formula 1 car of the Red Bull Racing F1 team

Red Bull has an aggressive international marketing campaign. The numerous sponsored activities range from extreme sports like windsurfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, cliff-diving, surfing, skating, freestyle motocross, rally, Formula 1 racing, and breakdancing to art shows, music, and video games. In keeping with their target market of young males, Red Bull has also enlisted help from celebrities, such as Eminem that would appeal to this group (sponsoring the Red Bull "EmSee Battle Rap championships"). It also hosts events like the "Red Bull Flugtag" (German for "flight day" or "flying day") and other such contests. Red Bull also sponsors soccer teams, with clubs in Austria, Germany, the United States and Brazil featuring the Red Bull trademark in their names. By associating the drink's image with these activities, the company seeks to promote a "cool" public image and raise brand power. In addition, the slender container is used to suggest a "sexier" image than some other cola counterparts. Hence, this one energy drink has helped create a market for over 150 related types of merchandise,[26] like Red Rooster and Blue Lightning.

Red Bull's slogan, "it gives you wings", is widely used in these marketing activities. Claims about the drink's effects and performance have been challenged on various occasions, with the UK's Advertising Standards Authority imposing advertising restrictions in 2001 in response to complaints first recorded as early as 1997.[27] Even with all of the concerns regarding Red Bull, in 2000 the corporation earned around $1 billion in worldwide sales and Red Bull held 65% of the market share.[28] In Malaysia, however, Red Bull does not use its "Gives you wings" slogan, but instead a single one-word slogan, Bullleh!, a word play on the Malay word Boleh (lit: Can be done) and the word Bull.

In the PlayStation 3's new social app, PlayStation Home, Red Bull has developed its own in-game island, specifically advertising its energy drink and the Red Bull Air Race event. In late November 2009, Red Bull brought out two new spaces, the Red Bull Illume space, and the Red Bull Beach space featuring the Red Bull Flugtag, both released on the same day.

In the video game Worms 3D, Red Bull could be drunk by the worms, giving them the effect of faster movement.

Red Bull is displayed on virtual track-side billboards during gameplay and in the opening cinematic in the video game Wipeout XL.

Team ownerships

Endorsements

In 2009, Red Bull added mainstream sport athletes to its roster of sports endorsements. Reggie Bush was the first NFL athlete to endorse the product. The announcement was made at the Super Bowl.[29]

Events

See also

References

  1. "The Top 15 Energy Drink Brands". Energyfiend.com. http://www.energyfiend.com/2007/04/the-15-top-energy-drink-brands. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Red Bull pulled in Germany after cocaine test - Europe- msnbc.com". http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30929880/.  090607 msnbc.msn.com
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Newsmeat ▷ Traces of Cocaine Found in Red Bull in Hong Kong". http://www.newsmeat.com/news/meat.php?articleId=51718664&channelId=2951&buyerId=newsmeatcom&buid=3281.  090602 newsmeat.com
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Cocaine test prompts Red Bull removal in Germany (AP)". enUws. http://enuws.com/cocaine-test-prompts-red-bull-removal-in-germany-ap/.  090602
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Taiwan confiscates cocaine-laced energy drinks - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/05/30/2585388.htm.  090602 abc.net.au
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Red Bull Cola’s Secret Ingredient: Cocaine!". Patrick Henry Press News. http://patrickhenrypress.info/?p=669258.  090602
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Heart, Lung and Circulation : Acute Effects of Red Bull on Platelet and Endothelial Function". ScienceDirect. 2008-07-15. doi:10.1016/j.hlc.2008.05.055. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B7CW2-4T0F86T-20&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=0e3fcd8da803bf77011fa8ee9d375cde. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  8. "Face value | Selling energy". Economist.com. 2002-05-09. http://www.economist.com/people/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1120373. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  9. Kerry A Dolan. "Magazine Article". Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/global/2005/0328/028_print.html. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Red Bull GmbH Company History". Funding Universe. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Red-Bull-GmbH-Company-History.html. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  11. Ligaya, Armina (2010-05-12). "Region abuzz over energy drinks". The National: p. Business section, pp. 1, 6. http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100511/BUSINESS/705119952/1005. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
  12. "The World's Billionaires". Forbes.com. 2008-02-11. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/10/billionaires08_The-Worlds-Billionaires_CountryOfPrmRes_23.html. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  13. "The World's Billionaires". Forbes.com. 2008-02-11. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/10/billionaires08_The-Worlds-Billionaires_CountryOfPrmRes.html. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  14. Red Bull official website
  15. Nowpublic.com
  16. [Expression error: Missing operand for > Safety issues associated with commercially available energy drinks]. PMID 18595815. 
  17. "Position statement and recommendations for the use of energy drinks by young athletes". National Federation of State High School Associations / Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. October 2008. http://www.nfhs.org/Core/ContentManager/uploads/PDFs/SportMed/2Energy%20Drink%20Statement.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  18. "Red Bull drink lifts stroke risk: Australian study | Health". Reuters. 2008-08-14. http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSSYD5846120080815. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  19. [Expression error: Missing operand for > Reversible postural tachycardia syndrome due to inadvertent overuse of Red Bull]. PMID 18682891. 
  20. "Red Bull Caffeine Drink May Have Helped Cause Students Death (from The Herald )". Theherald.co.uk. http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.2486477.0.red_bull_caffeine_drink_may_have_helped_cause_students_death.php. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  21. Published: 6:20PM GMT 02 Feb 2009 (2009-02-02). "Red Bull 'may have triggered heart condition that killed student'". Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4437065/Red-Bull-may-have-triggered-heart-condition-that-killed-student.html. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  22. "archives". Taipei Times. 2009-06-01. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/06/01/2003445076. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  23. Redbull.co.uk
  24. Coffeefaq.com
  25. Christian Nordqvist (2004-02-08). "French ban on Red Bull (drink) upheld by European Court". Medical News Today. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/5753.php. 
  26. "History Of Red Bull Energy Drinks Soft Drink Marketing Beverages And Advertising". Speedace.info. http://www.speedace.info/red_bull.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  27. "HEALTH | Energy drink claims rejected". BBC News. 2001-01-24. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1133348.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  28. "A Bull's Market - the marketing of Red Bull energy drink | Brandweek | Find Articles at BNET". Findarticles.com. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BDW/is_22_42/ai_75286777. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  29. "Reggie Bush Goes to Red Bull - ESPN The Magazine". Sports.espn.go.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3873150. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 

External links



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