The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has released incident reports linking the consumption of Monster Energy drinks to the deaths of five people over the past three years. The reports have been made public, and the subject of much debate, after they were obtained by Wendy Crossland, mother of the late fourteen-year-old Anais Fournier who died last year from heart arrhythmia after drinking Monster over two consecutive days, according to a report by The New York Times.
While the FDA has not established any causal link between Monster Energy drinks and the incident reports that it has received, the allegations caused Monster’s stock to plummet upon the initial news being released. The chart below outlines investors’ immediate reactions to the news on Monday, October 22nd.
According to one Wall Street Journal Report, Monster’s shares rallied 17 percent to $47.97 per share after dropping a significant 23 percent on Monday. Though Monster’s market presence is slowly on the rebound, what remains to be seen is how these allegations will affect the brand in terms of sponsorship of events and professional athletes within the action sports community.
Despite lingering uncertainties, Monster is standing by the safety of its products. In a recently issued press release, Monster expressed its condolences to Crossland and her family, saying:
“Monster is saddened by the untimely passing of Anais Fournier, and its sympathies go out to her family. Monster does not believe that its products are in any way responsible for the death of Ms. Fournier and intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit.”
In the press release, Monster goes on to outline the following, in a bullet-point style format, regarding the safety of its products:
“Tens of billions of energy drinks have been sold and safely consumed worldwide for approximately 25 years, including more than 8 billion cans of Monster Energy that have been sold and safely consumed in the United States and around the world since 2002. The company monitors consumer communications it receives, is unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its products, and has never before been the subject of any lawsuit of this nature.”
Addressing concerns that dangerously high levels of caffeine in Monster Energy drinks are to blame for the death of Fournier and others, Monster said the following:
“Monster Energy drinks generally contain approximately 10 milligrams of caffeine from all sources per ounce. By comparison, the leading brands of coffee house brewed coffee contain on average more than 20 milligrams of caffeine per ounce. An entire 24-ounce can of Monster Energy contains about 240 milligrams of caffeine from all sources, which is around 30 percent less than the average caffeine contained in a medium-sized, 16-ounce cup of coffee house brewed coffee.”
“Monster Energy drinks, including their ingredients and labeling, are in full compliance with all laws and regulations in each of the more than 70 countries in which they are sold. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") has stated that adverse event reports about a product do not mean that the reported event is caused by the product. The FDA has made it clear that it has not established any causal link between Monster Energy drinks and the reports it has received .Neither the science nor the facts support the allegations that have been made. Monster reiterates that its products are and have always been safe,” the release concludes.
Although Monster has yet to state what, if any, impacts this lawsuit may have on its sponsorship of events and athletes within the action sports community, there is no shortage of media coverage surrounding the implications that this may have for the content, and thus the labeling of various energy drinks, including Monster.
One man working to help spread media coverage of the allegations against Monster, who calls himself “Pete,” reached out to us via an unsolicited email this morning, claiming to represent the late Fournier and her family. In his email, Pete asserted that many, if not all of the athletes, sponsored by Monster do not actually consume the beverage, something that he says is deceiving to children who drink it.
Stay tuned with TW Biz as more information surrounding the lawsuit becomes available.