"Cocaine" Energy Drink Withdrawn Because Everyone Hates Its Name

The company that made an energy drink called “Cocaine” took its product off the streets amidst haters getting all up in its grill over its “edgy” name.

Mr. Ivey, the owner of Redux, the drink’s manufacturer, sparked controversy with the drink’s blatant drug name and coy references on the labelling and website like, “Speed in a Can,” “Liquid Cocaine”, “Cocaine — Instant Rush.”, and “The legal alternative.”

Ivey certainly has a way with words:

“Of course, we intended for Cocaine energy drink to be a legal alternative the same way that celibacy is an alternative to premarital sex,” Mr. Ivey said.

“We like to think we have a great sense of humor,” he said. “And our market, primarily folks from ages 20 to 30, they love the ideas, they love the name, they love the whole campaign. These are not drug users.”

How about a energy drink called “Heroin.” You get a ground-up sugar mixture in a baggie, a spoon, a lighter, a needle, and a belt. Pour the mix in the spoon and light it under the spoon, then suck it up with the needle. Tie your arm off and inject the energy mix in your vein. The best part is, you can eat all of the kit when you’re done, it’s made out of candy! — BEN POPKEN

Energy Drink Is Withdrawn Over Concerns About Name [NYT]


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  1. Toof_75_75 says:

    HAHA “Bad Call of the Year” award, anyone?

  2. Secularsage says:

    Morons. Everything sounds better in market research, especially when you twist the questions to be sympathetic to your crazy idea.

    But when it comes to BUYING said product? People tend to be a little more conservative by nature. It’s like in college, when the dorm kids would call sodas “beers” so they could say, “beer me” and freak out the RA — funny the first time, and just stupid from them on out.

    Plus, that can design is uhh-uhhg-ly!

  3. MaliBoo Radley says:

    Why didn’t they just go whole hog and call the stuff Crack. I mean, the kids love Crack, right?

  4. Emor8t says:

    Personally I find that name hi-larious.

    I mean it has so much potential…

    “Hey boss, I’m keeping my cocaine in the fridge, keep your kids out of my stash this time will ya?

    and so on, and so on.

    Also, as far as eating the entire kit from sugar. Well:
    1. Last time I checked, sugar didn’t make small syringes very well, and it’s tends to melt when warmed, so it’s going to be painful going in, and then the sugar would probably clot so veins or something.
    2. Sugar belts don’t work that great.
    3. Umm sure, you could make the lighter out of sugar, but sugar doesn’t catch fire like lighter fluid does, and Id hate to consume lighter fluid…again.

  5. “we intended for Cocaine energy drink to be a legal alternative the same way that celibacy is an alternative to premarital sex”

    Except that then you’d have to call “celibacy” something else, like “fucking” or “barebacking.”

    Or maybe he means that, like celibacy, nobody really likes it or plans to do it if they have any say in the matter.

  6. MaliBoo Radley says:


    In you last little bit, I think you’ve confused cocaine and heroin.

  7. PenguinBlue says:

    At least this means they won’t be going with the planned Eric Clapton commercials…

    “If you want to hang out, you’ve got to take her out, Cocaineâ„¢ Brand Energy Drink!”

  8. MaliBoo Radley says:


    Like the kids who would drink this stuff have ever heard of Clapton.

    I hate kids.

  9. markweeble says:

    For Petes Sake it is just a name, there is no illegal drug in it. Here is a suggestion to Mr. Ivey, change the spelling to Kocaine. Then the political pple can not say poop! I think it is funny name for the energy drink but again we have pple who are being prudes about it!

  10. FreakinSyco says:

    The really interesting thing is that Cocaine energy drink doesn’t contain as much caffeine as allot of energy drinks already on the market. A quick glance at any one of the available online caffeine databases shows that there are four other energy drinks containing more caffeine in a single container than this Cocaine drink. One of which (24oz Boo-Koo Energy Drink) is sold at almost every gas station I’ve ever been in.

    The only reason it is being banned is bad name choice.

  11. jeblis says:

    Ever heard of the drink “Coke”? Hell that stuff started out with real cocaine.

  12. ElizabethD says:

    Ha ha ha! I have one toe in the spin business (professionally speaking), but that has to be the most egregiously crazy spin on a bad product name, ever. (“a legal alternative the same way that celibacy is an alternative to premarital sex”)

  13. endlessendres says:

    i just doesn’t make sense as they have been selling it for almost a year now. they are not saying it is cocaine, they are just comparing it to.

  14. Emor8t says:

    @radleyas: I was refering to the heroine kit that the author was talking about.

    “How about a energy drink called “Heroin.” You get a ground-up sugar mixture in a baggie, a spoon, a lighter, a needle, and a belt. Pour the mix in the spoon and light it under the spoon, then suck it up with the needle. Tie your arm off and inject the energy mix in your vein. The best part is, you can eat all of the kit when you’re done, it’s made out of candy! – BEN POPKEN”

  15. MaliBoo Radley says:


    Actually, it’s more than just a name. Some sort of propietary formula actually simulates the feeling of doing cocaine. Apparently it makes your throat feel numb.

    Just ridiculous

  16. valet_of_the_dolls says:

    @jeblis: And contrary to all this blabber about manners and values, that’s what people REALLY miss about the good old days.

  17. @radleyas: Holy crap!

    Why would someone want their throat to go numb?

  18. markweeble says:


    It should not matter as long as nothing illegal was put into the formula.It is just a way for the government to controll what you name the product.

  19. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    To simulate the feeling of cocaine. People are crazy!


    I think I’m going to launch a daycare called Kiddy Porn. Would that be a good idea? Or do you think people would get the wrong idea about the place?

  20. markweeble says:


    The name of Cocaine is more acceptable name. Calling your daycare Kiddy Porn would make me wonder if you are the sick kind of person who does bad things to kids… The post you made makes me wonder if you are one of those sick SOBS

  21. ShadeWalker says:

    It’s a conspiracy from the coca cola corporation! they don’t want their name tarnished… or something.

  22. MaliBoo Radley says:


    Take the tinfoil hat off buddy!

    It’s a matter of responsiblity. A daycare called kiddy porn and a soda called cocaine are to irresponsibly named things. It’s just bad judgement.

    And I hate to have to make this kind of statement, but I’m not one of those SOBs that hurts kids. I’m just a 28 year old married chick who’s trying to find some sense in this world.

  23. Spider Jerusalem says:

    This ties in nicely to the schools withdrawing Spike energy drink from its vending machines because in one school 18 kids were hospitalized by it. Um, it has a warning label, but who reads the label on something they get out of a vending machine anymore?

  24. markweeble says:


    A daycare called kiddy porn was not a good example to use.. I think there is No harm in the name of Cocaine for a drink! Comparing the two, naming the drink is not bad judgement as someone naming their daycare kiddy porn….

  25. MaliBoo Radley says:


    Well, that’s your opinion. I though it was both funny and a great example.

    I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    But seriously, calling your soda Cocaine, marketing it as the “legal alternative” and making it provide similar body sensations as the drug, that seems like a good idea to you?


  26. Um, it has a warning label, but who reads the label on something they get out of a vending machine anymore?

    @spiderjerusalem: For that matter, what were they doing putting drinks requiring warning labels in schools in the first place.

  27. jamier says:

    radleyas: What’s the big deal? Our president did cocaine, most of the most successful people on the planet have done cocaine… just because our federal government happens to put it on a list of illegal substances doesn’t make it evil.

    I’d rather protect our children from products called “beef” or “whole milk” or “hydrogenated soybean oil.”

  28. Skiffer says:

    @radleyas: For their target audience of 20 – 30 year-old energy-drink consumers, I think it’s a great idea. In fact, I think it’s a brilliant idea.

    For the rest of the market as a whole, yes it’s out of place.

  29. MaliBoo Radley says:


    It doesn’t have to be on a list for me to thinks it’s a bad thing. All I have to do is look at people strung out on cocaine.

    While I can agree that hyrdogenated soybean oil is nasty, I disagree with the comments about beef and whole milk. In and of themselves, they’re good products. It’s only when companies fill their cows full of hormones and antibiotics that I have a problem.

  30. MaliBoo Radley says:


    Well, I must be out of the loop. I’m 28 and I think it’s stupid.

  31. shad0ws says:

    since when does buying a product with a certain NAME equate to buying/using/promoting-the-use-of an illegal product?

    i’m going to name a bag of chips “Parking in the Fire Lane” brand.

    still have a problem with it? BUT…. parking in the fire lane is ALSO illegal!

    soooo… .. could it be that you’re making a moralistic value judgement about a particular substance, and applying those morals to everyone else? hmmm.

  32. Sorenso says:

    Good for them, a drink named after a drug would have just been a bad idea!

    Anyone want a coke?

    Coke = OK!
    Cocaine = BAD?

  33. MaliBoo Radley says:


    Possibly. I don’t see why all humans have to be so accepting of everything. I’m willing to be tolerant, as tolerance doesn’t imply acceptance. I mean, don’t we have to have a few standards for ourselves? Shouldn’t there be a few limits?

    Nevermind. I can see that no one agrees with my line of thinking.

  34. cgmaetc says:

    Apparently, we have some cocaine users in the house…

  35. Skiffer says:

    @radleyas: I didn’t say every 20 – 30 year old would like it – just that I think it’s a brilliant way to market to the demographic of 20-30 year olds who *regularly purchase energy drinks*.

    If I saw this in the store – I would buy it for its novelty – because I have a sense of humor and I understand they’re not trying to promote drug use (except for caffeine use) – and all their claims are exagerated marketing ploys.

    But yes, I’m not surprised at all that the general public over-reacted. Frankly, even though I would buy it, I do think I’d be a bit taken aback if I saw it for sale in a store.

  36. @shad0ws: But the potato chips can’t simulate the feeling of parking illegaly.

    A better example would be a non-alcoholic drink that still made you feel drunk including the headache that comes later.

  37. shdwsclan says:

    Coca Cola should sue the makers for Cocaine for making a knockoff drink.

    Isn’t adding cocain to cola Coca Cola’s trademark ?

  38. mac-phisto says:

    i think they had problems getting this distributed into stores. a friend of mine told me about it, but i have yet to see it anywhere. they supermarkets & most reputable convenience stores are not going to carry something that might cause them trouble.

    & on that note, i hear they’re changing the name to METH.

  39. 2Legit2Quit says:

    When it first arrived, me and my friend spent the $20 to train it up to New York to visit the only store that was selling it. the store was the smallest rat-shack with nothing but porn and energy drinks.

    The taste the other hand it something to be experienced. If you mixed Coke with fruity gatorade and Tabasco sauce, you get Cocaine. It’s really something you need to try once in your life.

    And someone mentioned Boo-Koo. That ranks on the list of the worst tasting drinks right next to Red Bull.

    And of course, anyone who lives in the Tri-State of NJ, PA, or DE would be familiar with WaWa’s very own MachW :) Greatest energy drink alive… though abit weak.

  40. usmeekly says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: i’m personally not interested in a drink that numbs my throat, but if you know any girls that are, please tell them to give me a call. i’m assuming no further explanation is needed.

  41. TinaB says:

    Man, I’m kind of sad I never heard of this energy drink before…. Tabasco sauce and fruity gatorade together!?!?! BRILLIANT!

  42. tph says:

    it’s not really the name that has the FDA all in a tizzy. I’ve been following this story via energy fiend, and it seems that the FDA is taking issue with it specifically being marketed as “the legal alternative”

    “Street drug alternatives are not intended to supplement the diet. 21 U.S.C. 321(ff). Accordingly, street drug alternatives do not qualify as dietary supplements”

    Also, apparently their marketing materials were making claims (cholesterol reduction) that weren’t warranted.

    Basically, these guys probably could have kept the name, and the vast majority of their marketing, but they really, really, really should have shelled out $25K or so for some decent legal/regulatory advice.

  43. tph says:

    oh yeah…I bought a can of this once, and forgot to put it in the fridge, and ended up attempting to drink it warm.

    It is the worst beverage I have ever tasted.

  44. Craig says:


  45. spinner says:

    Just a harm Reduction note, the belt should be loose, with a “light pressure” (like a jumper sleeve, rolled up!) and removed before you shoot any of the mix in.

    But you poor sods in the US don’t know about Harm Reduction, do you? Now theres a Consumerist column to be written, it’s a huge market of…consumption, you know. Regulation doesn’t have to equal illegal, y’know.

    Alrighty, rant over.

  46. Havok154 says:

    I’m going to miss those kids that would of walked up to some guy in the city asking where he can get some “cocaine” and then ends up in jail.

  47. maxwaver says:

    The “heroin” part of this post had my bending over laughing out loud and embarassing myself in front of my friends.

  48. willj2047 says:

    I can see how that would cause some confusion. I’m sure many people didn’t feel comfortable drinking cocaine. I know many parents wouldnt like to see their children drinking cocaine. They certainly wouldnt like saying it. The marketing department might want to think this one over again.

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