Red Bull

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Red Bull
Red Bull.svg
Type Energy drinks
Country of origin Thailand
Introduced 1987
Color Amber
Variants Original, Sugarfree, Cola, Total Zero, Red Edition, Blue Edition, Silver Edition, F1 Edition
Related products Red Bull Cola, Red Bull Energy Shot, Red Bull Sugar-Free, Red Bull Total Zero, Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Racing Team
Website www.redbull.com
Red Bull's AH-1F Cobra helicopter

Red Bull is an energy drink sold by Austrian company Red Bull GmbH, created in 1987. In terms of market share, Red Bull is the most popular energy drink in the world, with 5.387 billion cans sold in 2013.[1][2][3][4]

Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz was inspired by a pre-existing energy drink named Krating Daeng (Thai: กระทิงแดง, Thai pronunciation: [kràtʰiŋ dɛːŋ]), which was first invented and sold in Thailand. He took this idea, modified the ingredients to suit the tastes of westerners,[5] and, in partnership with Chaleo Yoovidhya, founded Red Bull GmbH in Austria. In Thai, daeng means red, and krating is the reddish-brown muscle-bound bovine called a "gaur", an animal slightly larger than the bison. Red Bull is sold in a tall and slim blue-silver can; in Thailand and in some parts of Asia it is sold in a wider gold can with the name of Krating Daeng or Red Bull Classic.[6] The two are different products, produced separately.

The Red Bull company slogan is "Red Bull gives you wings"[7] and the product is marketed through advertising, events (Red Bull Air Race, Red Bull Crashed Ice), sports team ownerships (RB Leipzig, FC Red Bull Salzburg, Red Bull Brasil, Red Bull New York, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso), celebrity endorsements, and music, through its record label Red Bull Records.[8]

Red Bull has been criticized for its marketing with extreme sports pictures, including those of at least six known fatalities (see below).[9] Red Bull was criticized for health risks in the past;[10] however, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that the levels of taurine and glucuronolactone used in Red Bull and other popular energy drinks are safe.[11]

History[edit]

Red Bull cans.

In 1976, Chaleo Yoovidhya introduced a drink called Krating Daeng in Thailand, which means "red gaur" in English. It was inspired by the tonic Lipovitan, whose prime ingredient is taurine, and was popular among Thai truck drivers and laborers. After visiting Thailand in 1982 Dietrich Mateschitz had discovered that Krating Daeng helped cure his jet lag.[12] In 1984, Mateschitz co-founded Red Bull GmbH with Yoovidhya and turned it into a global brand. Red Bull was founded by each partner investing $500,000 of savings and taking a stake in the new company. Yoovidhya and Mateschitz each held a 49% share of the new company. They gave the remaining 2% to Yoovidhya's son Chalerm, but it was agreed that Mateschitz would run the company.[13] The product was launched in Austria in 1987.

In 1992, the product expanded to international markets: Hungary and Slovenia.[14] It entered the United States via California in 1997[14] and the Middle East in 2000.[15] In 2008, Forbes magazine listed both Chaleo and Mateschitz as the 250th richest people in the world with an estimated net worth of $4 billion.[16][17]

Red Bull is headquartered in Fuschl am See, an Austrian village of 1500 inhabitants near Salzburg. The building sports no logo and is heavily guarded. The company does not grant any interviews.[9]

Ingredients[edit]

Red Bull contains caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone, B-group vitamins, sucrose, and glucose.[18] Red Bull Sugar Free is like Red Bull Energy Drink, but without sugar. The sugars sucrose and glucose have been replaced by the sweeteners acesulfame K and aspartame/sucralose.[19]

Red Bull is sold in China in two versions: a regular-strength version in a short, wide, gold-and-red can; and an "extra-strength" version in a taller, thinner, blue-and-silver can more like the cans sold in western countries. Neither version is carbonated.

In Malaysia, Red Bull is sold in five versions: in addition to the regular strength version in short, gold-and-red can like the one sold in China, and "International" version sold in a taller, thinner, blue-and-silver can (looking like the "extra-strength" version sold in China, but carbonated), a "less-sugar" also sold in a short, silver-and-red can- this version tastes much more sour compared to the gold-and-red can version, but is otherwise identical in terms of nutrients. Additionally, both regular and less-sugar version are also available in a lower dosage, sold in glass bottles with gold-and-red or silver-and-red label depending on version, mimicking the Krating Daeng bottles sold in Thailand.

Health effects[edit]

Claims about the drink's effects and performance have been challenged on various occasions, with the UK's Advertising Standards Authority imposing advertising restrictions in 2001 in response to complaints recorded as early as 1997.[20] In 2011, Red Bull earned around EUR 4.2 billion in worldwide sales and was available in 165 countries globally.[21]

Caffeine, taurine and glucuronolactone have been assessed by health authorities for their safety. Health Canada conducted a review of the scientific literature on caffeine, concluding that the general population of healthy adults is not at risk for potential adverse effects from caffeine if they limit their consumption to 400 mg per day.[22]

Taurine and glucuronolactone are human body constituents and present in the human diet from foods such as scallops, fish, poultry and grains. The Scientific Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) published in 2009 at the request of the European Food Safety Authority's commission (EFSA) the evaluation of the safety in use of two particular "energy drink" ingredients, specifically taurine and glucuronolactone, and concluded that the exposure to these said substances at the levels presently used in energy drinks is no safety concern.[11]

Yet, the same EFSA European Food Safety Authority published also in 2009 another scientific opinion led by the 'EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies' (NDA), focusing this time on various studies of taurine and its commercial alleged health claims, namely: antioxidant activity, detoxifying properties, and protection of body cells from oxidative damage (defined as per the EFSA: Protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage), energy metabolism (energy-yielding metabolism), ergogenic role in sports and exercise (Delay in the onset of fatigue and enhancement of physical performance).

The EFSA concluded that on the basis of the available data, the cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of taurine and the previously mentioned commercial claims.[23]

A review published in 2008 found no documented reports of negative or positive health effects associated with the amount of taurine used in energy drinks, including Red Bull. Caffeine and sugar levels in Red Bull are comparable to coffee and fruit juices, respectively.[24]

Caffeine[edit]

The caffeine content of a single can of Red Bull is 80 mg/250 ml (32 mg/100 ml).[25][26] This is about the same as one cup of coffee, or slightly less depending on the brewing method.[27] The actual caffeine level in Red Bull can vary depending on country, as some countries have legal restrictions on how much caffeine is allowed in drinks. As is the case with other caffeinated beverages, Red Bull drinkers may experience adverse effects as a result of overuse -- see: caffeine intoxication.

Cardiovascular effects[edit]

Moderate caffeine intake (less than 400 mg per day) does not adversely affect cardiovascular health.[28]

There has been at least one case report of Red Bull overdose causing postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome in a young athlete.[29] A February 3, 2009 article in The Daily Telegraph called "Red Bull 'may have triggered heart condition that killed student' " reported the death of a 21-year-old woman who died after drinking four cans of Red Bull as well as alcohol at "social levels".[30] It is believed, but was not proven, that she suffered from a rare heart condition called long QT Syndrome.[30] She was on medication for epilepsy and had an abnormally large heart. A medical examination found no illegal drugs in her body. The article quoted a doctor as saying, "The coroner recorded that the 21-year-old woman died of natural causes."[31]

Most recently, a girl in the UK had three heart attacks after drinking alcoholic shots containing Red Bull. This is currently under investigation.[32]

Impact on driving[edit]

Joris Verster and colleagues from Utrecht University concluded that Red Bull Energy Drink reduces driver sleepiness and enhances driving performance during prolonged highway driving.[33]

Market approval[edit]

Authorities kept Red Bull from being sold in France from 1996 to 2008, and in Denmark, and Norway[34] for years. As of 2013 it is on sale in all 27 member states of the European Union and in 165 countries around the world.

The French food safety agency was concerned about taurine. A Red Bull drink that did not contain taurine was introduced. The French refusal of market approval was challenged by the European Commission, and partially upheld by the European Court of Justice in 2004.[34] The French food safety agency relented in 2008, because it was unable to prove a definite health risk, taurine-related or not.[35]

Litigation[edit]

In 2013, Red Bull told the Redwell brewery, a Norfolk micro brewery to change its name or face legal action, because it sounded too similar to Red Bull. The eight man brewery in Norwich was told its name could "confuse" customers and "tarnish" its trademark.[36] The two companies reached a settlement permitting Redwell to continue using its name.[37]

Advertising[edit]

A common Red Bull Cola campaign car.
A 2010 Formula 1 car of the Red Bull Racing F1 Team

Red Bull's slogan is "it gives you wings". Red Bull's international marketing campaign targets young men mostly with extreme sports. These range from mountain biking, BMX, motocross, windsurfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, cliff-diving, surfing, skating, freestyle motocross, rally, Formula 1 racing, to breakdancing. Red Bull uses music and videogames, and has enlisted celebrities, such as Eminem (sponsoring the Red Bull "EmSee Battle Rap championships"). It hosts events like art shows and the "Red Bull Flugtag" (German for "flight day" or "flying day"). Red Bull owns association football teams, with clubs in Austria, Germany, the United States and Brazil featuring the Red Bull trademark in their names. By associating the drink's image with these activities, the company seeks to promote a "cool" public image and raise brand power. The energy drink has created a market for over 150 related types of merchandise,[38] like Red Rooster and Blue Lightning.

In the PlayStation 3's social gaming platform, PlayStation Home, Red Bull developed its own in-game island, specifically advertising its energy drink and the Red Bull Air Race event (for which the space is named) released in January 2009. In late November 2009, Red Bull produced two new spaces, the Red Bull Illume space, and the Red Bull Beach space featuring the Red Bull Flugtag, both released on the same day. In January 2012, Red Bull released its first personal space called the "Red Bull House of Skate" featuring an indoor skate park.

In the video game Worms 3D, Red Bull allows worms to move more quickly than normal. Red Bull is displayed on virtual track-side billboards during game play and in the opening cinematic in the video game Wipeout 2097.

Team ownerships[edit]

Sponsorships[edit]

Audi A4 DTM, which won the Manufacturers' championship in 2004
The Citroën rally car, which won the manufacturers' title in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
A Red Bull sponsored racing bike
  • KTM road and Dakar rally bikes
A Sauber C15 from 1995 in display at Red Bull Hangar-7
A VW Touareg during the Dakar Rally, which won the event in 2009, 2010 and 2011

Endorsements[edit]

In 2009, Red Bull added mainstream sport athletes to its roster of sports endorsements.

Events[edit]

Red Bull Flugtag Stockholm 2010
Red Bull Flugtag Stockholm 2010

Locations[edit]

Fatalities[edit]

As of 2014, at least six male extreme-sports performers have died during, or in the case of Eigo Sato in preparation for, stunts for X-Games and the Red Bull X-Fighters competition. [48] About one athlete, Shane McConckey Red Bull's Media House and MSP Films released 2013 an award winning feature documentary "McConkey" where all proceeds will go to Shane McConkey family.[49]

The deceased are:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Burt Helm (4 January 2005). "Energy Drinks Build Their Buzz". BloombergBusinessweek. BLOOMBERG L.P. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Red Bull (2012). "Company Figures". Red Bull. Red Bull. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Red Bull the company - Who makes Red Bull? Red Bull Origin :: Energy Drink :: Red Bull". Energydrink.redbull.com. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  5. ^ Asian brand strategy: how Asia builds strong brands, Martin Roll, pg 199. Books.google.com.hk. 2005-10-17. ISBN 9780230513068. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  6. ^ Cheryl Tay (8 April 2011). "Former F1 Driver David Coulthard Thrilled Shoppers Along Bukit Bintang In Red Bull Racings Show Car Run". Va Va Vroom. Cheryl Tay Pte Ltd. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Company". Red Bull. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Lauria, Peter (2008-04-01). "Pump the Music: Red Bull Eyes Starting Branded Music Label — NYPost.com". New York Post. 101013 NYPost.com
  9. ^ a b c The Dark side of Red Bull, ARD, 2013 (German)
  10. ^ Desciscio, Paolo; Prabhu, Anisha; Worthley, Matthew; Roberts-Thomson, Ross; Sanders, Prashanthan; Willoughby, Scott (2008). "Acute Effects of Red Bull on Platelet and Endothelial Function". Heart, Lung and Circulation 17: S23. doi:10.1016/j.hlc.2008.05.055. 
  11. ^ a b EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (2009). "The use of taurine and D-glucurono-γ-lactone as constituents of the so-called 'energy' drinks". The EFSA Journal 935: 1–31. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2009.935. 
  12. ^ "Face value | Selling energy". Economist.com. 2002-05-09. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  13. ^ Kerry A Dolan (2005-03-28). "Magazine Article". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  14. ^ a b "Red Bull GmbH Company History". Funding Universe. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  15. ^ Ligaya, Armina (2010-05-12). "Region abuzz over energy drinks". The National. p. Business section, pp. 1, 6. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
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  17. ^ "The World's Billionaires". Forbes.com. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
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  25. ^ "Red Bull caffeine beverage review". About.com. 2009-10-22. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  26. ^ "Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Energy drink, RED BULL, with added caffeine, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B6 and B12". Condé Nast. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
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  32. ^ Teenager suffers three heart attacks after drinking ten Jägerbombs in two hours
  33. ^ Mets, Monique A. J.; Ketzer, Sander; Blom, Camilla; Gerven, Maartje H.; Willigenburg, Gitta M.; Olivier, Berend; Verster, Joris C. (2010). "Positive effects of Red Bull® Energy Drink on driving performance during prolonged driving". Psychopharmacology 214 (3): 737–45. doi:10.1007/s00213-010-2078-2. PMC 3053448. PMID 21063868. 
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  47. ^ "Red Bull Soapbox Race". Archived from the original on 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  48. ^ "Freestyle Extreme". Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  49. ^ "Shane McConkey Movie - About". Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  50. ^ "Racers Remember Toriano Wilson". RoadRacingWorld.com. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 

External links[edit]