Bans, Controversy Spark Four Loko Buying Run

Ah, the taste of forbidden fruit… juice flavor mixed with caffeine and alcohol. Since states and municipalities started banning Four Loko and the Food and Drug Administration classified caffeine as an unsafe additive to malt liquor, stores can’t keep the stuff on shelves. In response to the FDA ultimatum, the beverage maker has pledged to drop caffeine from the drink, but the original article is still out there.

The Washington Post reports Four Loko buying binges are raging, given that the FDA move has given manufacturers less than two more weeks to legally distribute the caffeinated version of the beverage. The Post story says college students — the very class of people who through a spotlight on Four Loko by suffering alcohol poisoning from it — are stockpiling Four Loko for farewell parties.

Four Loko ban fuels buying binge [The Washington Post]

Previously: FDA Warns Makers Of Alcoholic Energy Drinks


Edit Your Comment

  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    /brb, loling forever

    – – –

    Somebody on the Fourloko articles was saying something exactly like this. The ban on Caffinated Alcohol made him (or her) want to try it that much more.

    • grucifer says:

      I’m a 25 year old working professional and I want to try it now too.

      • Bremma says:

        Yeah same here. Just to see how bad it is. Might see if any place near me has it on the way home from work.

        • Robofish says:

          lol I also was curious and bought 3 cans ( different flavors ) the other night. See what controversy does? IT SELLS!

    • Speak says:

      I am a 35 white male geek alcohol lover who makes his own beer at home and I want to try this just to see what it’s like also. If it wasn’t in the news, I never would have thought twice about it. Unfortunately I live in Pennsylvania so if I want to try it (1 can) I have very limited options, luckily I live close enough to Jersey that I can check there if I want it bad enough.

    • ianmac47 says:

      I think it should be obvious by now that by banning a substance, the government only encourages the use of it. And yes, I think quite a large number of people have said, “well, I better try it before I can’t”

      • Rocket80 says:

        I only tried it because it was in the news (and it was disgusting) and now I want to go run out and stock up before the original four loko is off the shelves! (even tho it was disgusting) Can someone explain that psychology to me? lol

      • Milch says:

        Went to a group physical training exercise and that was the top thing our fitness leader was talking about, going out and grabing a few just because they made the news to be banned.

    • Megalomania says:

      The only thing I found concerning about 4 Loko (after finding out about it due to this circus) is that one can is the equivalent of 6 beers. I think a restriction on the amount of alcohol that can be contained in a non-resealable container would be much more intelligent and attack the root of the problem rather than one particular overhyped incarnation. Mixing uppers and downers is hardly novel.

      Incidentally, I don’t like to drink, but I do love having liquor and mixing drinks for friends.

  2. c!tizen says:

    “The Post story says college students — the very class of people who through a spotlight on Four Loko by suffering alcohol poisoning from it — are stockpiling Four Loko for farewell parties.”

    That’s our future, America.

    • drizzt380 says:

      Because if the government said they were going to ban all alcohol in 2 weeks, no people that are our present would really care.

      They’d just go meh.

      I would say that it is in fact normal to buy something if you like it and know you may never get to have it again.

      • c!tizen says:

        I get that, and I totally agree, but the problem with these drinks is that if they are taken in excess (low excess by a collage student’s drinking standards) they can be fatal. With that in mind they’re going out and buying huge quantities to drink them all in a “farewell party”.

        I get wanting to buy up a product if it’s going to be harder or impossible to get soon, but if that product is known to cause bodily harm/ death in excess, then buying it up to drink it in excess is a bit idiotic, especially in a higher learning institution, no?

        • drizzt380 says:

          Alcohol. Fatal in excess.

          But I really took issue with your “our future” comment. “Our future” is also our past and our present.

          • DeepHurting says:

            So, what you’re saying is that TIME doesn’t really exist! It’s all, like, a mass hallucination, man!
            You just blew my mind….

          • MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

            My generation would have done the same thing. There would have been a run on the stuff in the early 90s if we would have had it.

            Somewhere, Drew Carey is kicking himself. “We were on the right track. Just the proportions were off!”

        • Psychicsword says:

          Smart people only drink 1. That is why I like it, I only had to drink 1 to get tipsy and after that you slowly drink a few beers. Even though they banned this drink I can still order a vodka and red bull and other similar drinks so I dont know why they think anything will change.

    • trentblase says:

      I’m sure the FDA, in it’s next forray into ineffective patently is going to try the old anti-cigarette tactic: you bought four loko? I’m going to sit here while you drink every single can in the pack

    • tofupuppy says:

      I bought my stash yesterday! And I am decidedly not in the college-student demographic. I’m in the early-30s “professional” demographic. Lulz.

  3. JennyCupcakes misses her grandson says:

    I gotta tell ya, I am tempted to try one of these things. However, if it’s anything like Joose (which my fiancee bought for both of us to try), I would probably end up dumping the rest out and/or producing brightly colored vomit.

    I think I’ll just stick to grape Dimeatapp.

  4. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Common, Vodka and Red Bull and Vodka and Monster can be created in the livingroom. No need for this rush.

  5. drizzt380 says:

    If people want caffeine in their alcohol, they will just make Jaberbombs at home. Or buy one at a bar.

  6. Skellbasher says:

    I’d never even heard of this stuff until they started talking about banning it.

    Now I want to go try it out. :)

  7. laughingisfree says:

    This article is true. I had no clue about this drink till it went crazy on the news. Now I have a stockpile of them pre-ban. I don’t even intend to drink them either; maybe bring them to parties or whatnot.

  8. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    “Through a spotlight” – did you mean “threw a spotlight?”

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      Phil needs to turn off Autocorrect if he’s going to be posting from his iPhone ;3

  9. psikic says:

    Caffeine is not banned, alcohol is not banned, just selling it together. Whats to stop someone from buying a disgusting flavor of soda and adding caffeine on their own?

    Caffeine as an additive is easy to buy, for example Google “5150 juice”.

  10. smartmuffin says:

    Didn’t you guys run an article a few days ago about “sales pitches we can’t resist” that included “limited time offer/get it while it lasts”

    Way to go, government. You’ve once again proven astoundingly capable of doing the exact opposite of your good intentions.

  11. npage148 says:

    Once they started talking about the inhumanity of 4Loko I figured it would be banned within 2 weeks (in NYS anyways) so I ran out and bought 4 cans to see what it was all about. I’m a 28 year old health care professional/graduate student who typically only buys micros. So yeah, I bought it becasue of the drama. And it was pretty much nasty and I was hungover after 1

  12. goldgecko4 says:

    I remember saying when I bought a can (for this very reason!) of Loko the other day that this was the best thing to ever happen to their business, as I had never even HEARD of Four Loko before the ban here in MI was announced. Even if it was banned nation-wide, I’m sure everyone over there would have a nice retirement set up at the end of the day. :P

  13. Macgyver says:

    The people that are buying it know the dangers, if they want to buy it, let them.
    People that are buying it knows about the dangers of it, so can’t they make their own decision, if they want to drink them, so the hell what.
    And if underage kids are buying it, that’s the problem of the store that are selling it to them.
    Why should the company be held responsible for irresponsible people?

    • Skellbasher says:

      What dangers?

      People have been drinking liquor and carbonated beverages forever.

    • Moosehawk says:

      Are you trying to say cigarette companies shouldn’t be held responsible for people buying cigarettes either?

      • 12345678nine says:

        In what way do you think they should be held responsible? Do you think cigarettes should also be banned?
        Do they have a responsibility to explain the dangers and make warnings known about the dangers of the product? Absolutely.
        Nicotine is addictive and in no way that I have seen at all good for you. I am pretty big on staying healthy, and there is no way I would smoke. I do, however, enjoy alcohol in an amount that I feel is good for me. I think i should be able to make that choice, and what I ask is for the knowledge available of the dangers it may pose.

        I enjoy Four Loco because it is cheap, and if I want a buzz I know I can get it from any jiffy store and I know drinking half of it will give me the perfect buzz.

        It sucks that it is banned because some people are straight stupid.

  14. aloria says:

    The nearby bodega where I pick up my beer and wine carries this stuff. I was in there yesterday and was tempted to grab a few cans. I doubt I would have given the stuff a second thought if there wasn’t so much hysteria about it in the news

  15. Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

    I’m surprised someone isn’t buying up all the current stock with the intent of selling it for a hefty price once it’s banned from the store shelves. Could turn a nice profit doing that.

    • smartmuffin says:

      Stocks are priced for the future, not the present. Trust me, the stock of whatever company this is was already adjusted for the potential banning of the product well before anyone on this site (including the editors) was aware of it. Buying it now is probably a terrible idea, unless you’re banking on it defying expectations and NOT being banned anywhere, which would probably see it jump quite a bit. Depending on how much sales the parent company gets from this one particular product, that is. I really have no idea.

      • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

        I think he meant ‘stock’ as in the product, not actual investment stock in the company. ;3

        In which case, yeah, you could turn a pretty penny, assuming you can find people who’d buy more than one can of the stuff. (And judging by the Consumerist comments, even one can is too much!)

  16. Remmy75 says:

    I was sitting on the train this morning reading the paper and the article was talking about this. There was a quote from my co-worker who had bought 30 cans of it. He goes I am not going to sell it, just drink with friends for the fun of it.

    He said he is going to save for when he has his next poker night! Just what we need!

  17. chaesar says:

    time to start my new business, Cash4FourLoko

  18. chargernj says:

    What’s next? A ban on making vodka and Red Bull in bars?

    • Rudiger says:

      I feel like we’re back in Prohibitions times. In Massachusetts they passed an emergency law yesterday (why are the lawmakers so quick on these of all laws) to make any caffeinated alcoholic drinks completely banned immediately. I heard an interview today with a very small microbrewery in the area that makes only two beers, one of which is a low caffeine beer (like in Drew Carey). Sorry! You’re 50% out of business until you can come up with a brand new batch. I feel like Rex Banner is going to be patrolling the streets next.

      • evnmorlo says:

        It is difficult of legislatures to come up with new laws constantly so when there is an opportunity to create one because of a high-profile incident, that is “moral”, that “protects the children”, and that only affects young poor people they are all over it. Then they can spend the next year doing absolutely nothing other than hustle money and spend it on hookers and blow.

      • DeepHurting says:

        Who ordered the bathtub Four Loko?

  19. cave12man says:

    Im a 28 yo working professional and had it 2 weeks ago, although i’ll never, ever have it again. Wound up with a massive headache and a super pissed off g/f for not coming home. Yikes.

  20. BigPapaCherry says:

    Many people are suggesting that they should stock up on four loko and resell at a massive profit once the ban goes into effect. Can you even legally do that? It’s got to be against something in the 3 tier system the US uses to control alcohol.

    Also, 23-year old young professional, grabbed one of the last cases at a PA distributor because I had heard the hype and wanted to try it before it’s gone.

  21. DeepHurting says:

    My girlfriend, who won’t even drink a beer, came home with six cans of this crap yesterday.

    “Maybe it’ll be worth something someday.”


  22. outkastz says:

    These only became popular because of the 12% alcohol and the $2.50-$3.00 price range. Its literally the equivalent of a 6 pack given that its 23.5oz. It’s the ultimate pre-game drink.

    I’ve had my share of fun with them, you honestly only need 1 or 2 of these things. 1 if you want a nice buzz before a concert or something where alcohol is expensive. Drink 2 if you have a ride home. Drink 3 if you want to black out.

    I haven’t been able to finish 3 of these in a night. I always fall asleep. I will say, you will get one of the worst hangovers ever with these things.

    I plan on stocking up, I was a huge fan of surge and I wish I had purchased a bunch before it was gone. This is one of those things.

    • mbz32190 says:

      I must be a lightweight (well I don’t weigh that much irl)…one can made me pretty intoxicated. I don’t know how anyone could stomach more than one.

  23. Joseph S Ragman says:

    Oh my God … that shit’s nasty. Someone threw half a can of Four Loko in a trash can where I work, and it stunk so bad we had to call maintenance out and have them empty the trash.

  24. Hmmmmm needs more WarOtter says:

    As sad as this may be, this is great marketing for the company. It’ll keep them in the black this year at least.

    On another note, has anyone ever tried this stuff? What does it taste like?

  25. Promethean Sky says:

    I recently heard the watermelon flavor tasting like it has cat piss in it, and the fruit punch tasting like it had been buried in the back yard for a few years. I am not at all inclined to go try some before it’s gone. I’ll save my money for something I’ll enjoy.

    • huey9k says:

      Its not that the drink itself is dangerous; people aren’t grasping that. We live in a society where “one is never enough” and unfortunately, in this case, after one can, the mix DOES get dangerous.

      hey, read that article, did you? if not, google the “24 hour four loko diet”

  26. xanxer says:

    Why wont the FDA band nicotine from tobacco products then? Why was BPA recently approved for use in baby bottles?
    Total crap.
    Stick a warning label on it and let people choose.

    • banmojo says:

      exactly! the FDA is so f’king corrupt, it’s pathetic. I swear we need to take our whole m’f’king government, throw it out WITH the bath water, and start fresh. Oh, and throw out all the career politicians, lawyers, and PR agents at the same time. Fresh start, yup that’s what Uncle Sam needs most!!

  27. Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

    Where is everyone getting that a Four Loko is equivalent to 6 beers? You’re saying the beer you drink is only 3% ABV? I’m pretty sure Boone’s Farm and B&J have more alcohol in them than that.

    Real talk:

  28. banmojo says:

    Fuh-king bs this is – all this is going to do is force kids to go back to the 1990s Red Bull/vodka mix. Dumbass kids at dumbass colleges are STILL going to die dumbass deaths from etoh toxicity. mark my m’f’ing mots, mate!