Despite the health concerns that have arisen after several different energy drinks have been cited in a bunch of deaths, college kids are apparently still totally willing to risk their lives in order to stay awake to cram for finals (or party). It would appear that the ad whizzes at Red Bull got it right when they came up with the slogan, "Nobody ever wishes they'd slept more during college."
In a piece about the caffeine-infused soft drinks, the Washington Post reports on Red Bull's aggressive, biannual marketing techniques—rolled out during college finals—which appear to be working. In 2008, one study found that 39% of university students drank at least one energy drink a month. But in the past year alone, energy drink sales in the U.S. "totalled more than $8 billion, up more than 15% from a year ago."
Just between the two leading brands, Red Bull and Monster, more than 2.2 billion cans have been sold this year, which the Post points out is "more than seven cans per American." And this is despite the lawsuit that has been filed against Monster for allegedly leading to the death of a 14-year-old Maryland girl, among others. Monster has said, "Neither the science nor the facts support the allegations that have been made. Monster reiterates that its products are and have always been safe."
But these drinks are surely safer than—albeit not as effective as—meth or cocaine or amphetamines or bath salts or whatever else people snort to stay awake. Aren't people concerned about Adderall abuse among college students? Excessive energy drink consumption seems kind of pussy in comparison. It makes Jesse Spano's "I'm so excited!" come off as Less Than Zero.