Energy drinks should symbolize the dynamic values of the in-the-now economy. Instead they are taking on a lot of the reputational baggage of tobacco. That includes the scrutiny of constituencies ranging from consumer groups to law enforcement.
The latest energy brand to take a reputational hit is Verve. As Michelle Celarier reports in the NEW YORK POST, there have been questions about what kind of company Vemma, which markets Verve, is. Some contend it is a pyramid scheme. That's because its operations allegedly focus on recruitment of new salespeople, not selling to the consumer. Another reason this is on the radar is that who are recruited are primarily economically vulnerable college students who have to invest cold cash.
Earlier, U.S. senators Richard Blumenthal and Dick Durbin announced that they were looking at energy drinks in general and the Monster brand in particular. KFWB News reports that there was concern about the deaths allegedly associated with consuming that energy beverage. Also of concern is that one of the target markets for energy drinks is youth. They are seen not to have the judgment, as with tobacco, to see beyond the cool image of the product transmitted through advertising.
With this push-back against the whole energy-drink category, some retailers might hesitate to stock them and some ordinary people looking to make a buck might not go near that product for direct-to-the-consumer selling.