May 7, 2024 - Business

Panera dropping Charged Lemonade energy drinks

Panera takeout bag that says "Decked with Delicious" with a cup to right that says "Panera Charged lemonade"

Panera will replace its Charged Lemonades with new low-sugar and low-caffeine drinks. Photo: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Panera Bread is dropping its heavily caffeinated Charged Lemonades that have been the subject of lawsuits alleging the drinks can cause health issues, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Energy drinks have been growing in popularity despite the health risks.

  • Panera is facing three lawsuits that claim the high levels of caffeine in the Charged Sips line led to two customer deaths and irreversible health complications in a third person.

Driving the news: Bloomberg was first to report Tuesday that Panera plans to replace the controversial line of drinks with new low-sugar and low-caffeine beverages.

  • The drinks include a blueberry lavender lemonade, pomegranate hibiscus tea, citrus punch and a tropical green smoothie.
  • Panera didn't immediately respond to Axios' request for comment Tuesday.

Zoom in: The Food and Drug Administration says "for healthy individuals" a safe quantity of caffeine is 400 milligrams per day, which is around four to five cups of coffee.

A large, 30-ounce Charged Lemonade contains up to 236 mg of caffeine, per Panera's website.

  • Panera's lemonades previously were listed on the website as having up to 390 mg of caffeine, internet archive site Wayback Machine shows.

The big picture: The booming energy drink category has attracted younger consumers with consumption highest among men 18 to 34, according to market research firm Mintel.

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