Since their introduction into the marketplace over a decade ago, energy drinks have been a vibrant category, drawing the attention of convenience store patrons through unique marketing and robust products. Based on a high price point and increasing popularity, energy drinks are a profitable category for store owners.
With about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of home-brewed coffee, these functional beverages can provide temporary alertness. They’re also well regulated by the Federal government, and well labelled.
However, in the coming months Toronto Public Health will be releasing a report on energy drinks which may include a recommendation to Toronto City Council to impose special restrictions. One of the recommendations, which was raised in 2014, may block the sale of energy drinks to people under 19 on city-owned properties and private establishments like convenience stores.
If approved, this regulation could set a concerning precedent.
Whether or not you’re located in Toronto, the significance of this report and any resulting change could impact a large number of businesses, and for a product that is deemed safe by Health Canada.
Caffeine and Safety
Unlike other caffeinated beverages, Health Canada caps the amount of caffeine found in energy drinks. A regular 250 ml single-serve can contains 80-100 mg of caffeine, while a larger 473 ml can is limited to 180 mg. A similar-sized 250 ml serving of filter drip coffee may have up to two times as much caffeine, with an average of 179 mg. Unlike coffees and teas, energy drinks declare the total caffeine content from all sources on their product label.
In addition to Health Canada, the safety of energy drinks is confirmed by the world’s leading international health organizations. In 2015, the European Food Safety Authority concluded that there is no interaction between caffeine and any other ingredients in energy drinks, or with moderate alcohol intake.
Your City, Your Store
If your customers have questions, encourage them to read the labels, compare the caffeine content of other products, and understand how much caffeine they get from all sources. Like any other caffeinated beverage, energy drinks are safe to consume in moderation.
The Canadian beverage industry has a proven track record of proactively providing Ontarians with the information they need to make informed choices. CBA members are dedicated ensuring consumers are informed about their beverage choices.
If your store is located in Toronto, contact your local council office to support the safety and sale of energy drinks, and to support regulation remaining in the hands of Health Canada.
For more information, please visit EnergyDrinkInformation.ca.