Green Room

Bummer: Caffeine gum pulled after FDA concerns

posted at 6:31 pm on May 8, 2013 by

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.

No, really:

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.

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No reason at all to be “bummed” by this. Jolt Gum is, and always has been, the go-to resource for caffeine gum.

Wrigley’s pulling that product is a nothingburger, IMO.

JoltGum.com, Amazon, or any of a host of other locations.

VekTor on May 8, 2013 at 6:48 PM

The state is mother, the state is father…

Big Brother is concerned for your health…

Skywise on May 8, 2013 at 6:49 PM

No caffeine in your gum but you can get Plan B without any restrictions . . .

Imrahil on May 8, 2013 at 7:25 PM

No Caffeine Gum / Yes Plan B. The editorial cartoon draws itself.

BJ* on May 8, 2013 at 7:43 PM

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.

I’ve used it before for long haul driving when you’re tired but need to get somewhere. I don’t know of any cars that have built-in Keurigs yet.

blammm on May 8, 2013 at 7:56 PM

We used some brand of it in the 60s and 70s for long drives and all-nighters for exams. There’s nothing new about the concept except the puritanism.

obladioblada on May 8, 2013 at 8:00 PM

No-Doz has been around forever. Apparently the FDA wants you to get your caffeine in liquid form instead of gum or tablet?

obladioblada on May 8, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Wrigley is much obliged to you for the free ink. Kinda like the yoga pants that were just too damn transparent…

ericdijon on May 8, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Love coffee gum! As far as I’m concerned, this is the stuff:

http://www.smartjoeonline.com/

SagebrushPuppet on May 8, 2013 at 10:20 PM

There comes a point when the choices bureaucrats and regulators make about when to exercise the authority entrusted to them by Congress just scream out to eliminate positions, offices, divisions.

We have not scratched the surface of possible spending cuts, but these guys aren’t so deep.

Adjoran on May 9, 2013 at 12:40 AM

I have to say, this isn’t a totally bad idea. Not so bad for adults, but caffeine is wreaking havoc on kids cardiovascular systems. As a Paramedic I can say we are seeing increasing instances of kids with dysrrhythmias they should not have at their age, most likely due to ingestion of too much caffeine i.e. Monster drinks, Red Bull etc..

Now I do not think the government should be telling us what and what we should not be eating, but if parents aren’t interested in their kids health (except ridiculous vaccine conspiracies), doesn’t this open the door for the government to walk right in?

gator70 on May 9, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Now I do not think the government should be telling us what and what we should not be eating, but if parents aren’t interested in their kids health (except ridiculous vaccine conspiracies), doesn’t this open the door for the government to walk right in?

gator70 on May 9, 2013 at 7:05 AM

NO. Lack of personal responsibility is far-and-away the WORST reason to give government more power, because government will foster and encourage less personal responsibility so they can turn around and use it as an excuse!

gryphon202 on May 9, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Control freaks. Gubmint gone wild.

petefrt on May 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM

gryphon202 on May 9, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Which is why I made the comment about parents not paying attention to the sh** that their little darlins put into their body, and then somebody like me has to show up and cardiovert them out of SVT at 220 bpm. I’m not about giving the gov any more power than they have but folks need to start paying attention to the non-food we put into our bodies.

gator70 on May 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Which is why I made the comment about parents not paying attention to the sh** that their little darlins put into their body, and then somebody like me has to show up and cardiovert them out of SVT at 220 bpm. I’m not about giving the gov any more power than they have but folks need to start paying attention to the non-food we put into our bodies.

gator70 on May 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I’d like government to have less power than it has. A lot less power than it has. Every government intervention starts with saying “it’s for the good of the people,” so I hope you’ll forgive my paranoia.

gryphon202 on May 9, 2013 at 10:48 AM

No-Doz has worked fine for decades and Wrigley is a johnny come lately so, they shouldn’t just drop their caffeine gum but instead replace it with BACON flavored gum. :)

oldernwiser on May 9, 2013 at 11:03 AM

D’oh!

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 9, 2013 at 12:31 PM