Stimulants Added to Alcohol Beverages: Research Review and Discussion addresses the action area not to produce any beverage alcohol products that contain excessive amounts of added stimulant, as part of the commitment to provide consumer information and responsible product innovation. The report examines scientific data and current opinion from peer-reviewed research literature and from a number of technical and regulatory sources available in the public domain, with a view to defining “excessive amounts” of added stimulants and establishing a consensus on appropriate levels.
The term “stimulant” is applied in a broad sense, to define substances associated with demonstrable or claimed improvements in cognitive, psychomotor or physical performance, increased alertness or wakefulness, or ergogenic (energy-giving) properties. The most common added stimulant relevant to beverage alcohol is caffeine.
We note that there is insufficient evidence at the current time to identify a specific threshold (e.g. milligrams per liter) above which caffeine levels in premixed beverages should be determined to be excessive. Despite the lack of conclusive evidence, we obey all relevant laws in all countries where we market our products.
We have also undertaken a Survey of all Beverages currently produced and marketed by all signatories to the Commitments and all are below the threshold level established in the most stringent regulations for soft drinks or energy drinks (i.e. 200 mg/l). Moreover, under the Commitments, for beverages containing both alcohol and some level of caffeine or other stimulant, we would not promote any such beverage as delivering energizing or stimulating effects.
We are aware that consumers may choose to mix alcohol with other beverages which do contain caffeine, as is the case for traditional and well-established drinks such as Irish coffee or rum and cola, as well as some consumers choosing to add spirits to energy drinks that do not contain alcohol. Neither of these examples of consumer behavior is covered by the terms of this Commitment, since they do not relate to the production of any beverage alcohol product containing excessive amounts of added stimulants, but relate instead to consumer choices. However, under the Commitments, we would not promote any such beverage alcohol combination as delivering energizing or stimulating effects.