Bummer: Caffeine gum pulled after FDA concerns
posted at 6:31 pm on May 8, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
I hadn’t even heard of this until today. Wrigley had launched a new product called Alert, a chewing gum where each stick had the caffeine equivalent of a half-cup of coffee. Today, they pulled it off the market at least temporarily “out of respect” for the FDA’s concern over caffeine in the food supply.
The company said Wednesday that it has stopped new sales and marketing of Alert Energy Caffeine Gum “out of respect” for the agency.
The FDA said it would investigate added caffeine in foods just as Wrigley rolled out Alert late last month. A stick of the gum is equivalent to half a cup of coffee.
Well, I’m not sure I see the need for caffeinated chewing gum, but I’m also not sure why the FDA is getting tweaked over it, either. If Wrigley wasn’t disclosing it, that’s one thing — but it was the selling point for Alert. Consumers would have been purchasing it for its caffeine content; presumably they’d buy existing brands if they only wanted a specific taste or a sugar hit.
If Washington is getting perturbed by products that mix sugar and caffeine and are offered in an unregulated manner to all customers over the counter, why wouldn’t they take a greater interest in, oh, Starbucks? I’m pretty sure that a triple-shot venti peppermint mocha latte would be the equivalent of a whole pack of Alert.