MILWAUKEE MillerCoors has said it will put a cap on plans to launch its caffeinated alcoholic malt beverage Sparks Red, at least for the moment, after attorneys general from 25 states and representatives from several states asked for a block on the beverage. The alcoholic energy drink will not launch Oct. 1 as previously planned, the company has said.
The group of state attorneys general, which included including Andrew Cuomo of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, expressed concern that caffeine-infused alcoholic beverages such as Sparks Red targeted mainly young drinkers. Further, the group showed concern that mixing alcohol and caffeine reduced the feeling of intoxication in a drinker. A letter to MillerCoors stated a potential lawsuit if the launch of Sparks Red were not halted, MillerCoors chief executive Leo Kiely told the press.
Last week MillerCoors confirmed to media that the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau had given approval to all previously released Sparks formulations and labels. However, the new Sparks Red was especially called into scrutiny because it would contain more alcohol—8 percent by volume—than previously released Sparks flavors, which contain between 6 percent and 7 percent by volume, sources said.