5-Hour Energy's boldest claim is that it promises "No Crash Later," which is touted on product labels and in advertising.
It's an important differentiator for the energy shot, which dominates its industry segment and is constantly fighting to pull customers away from big energy brands like Red Bull and Monster.
But what do you think "No Crash Later" means, exactly?
If you think it's that you're not going to experience any crash at all from the caffeine or other ingredients in 5-Hour Energy, you're wrong.
The statement on its product label is accompanied by a special mark, which also appears on the back label.
In the fine print, it reads "no crash means no sugar crash."
Well, that's absolutely true, since 5-Hour Energy does not contain sugar.
Barry Meier has a big story on the energy drink's claims in The New York Times in which a spokeswoman for 5-Hour Energy distributor Living Essentials defends the "No Crash Later" statement on product labels, saying that it's not misleading at all.
Asked whether consumers mistakenly believe that the shot does not produce a caffeine-related crash, Ms. Lutz said that the use of the special mark and its explanation were clear. “I don’t believe that it is misleading,” said Ms. Lutz, who added that the advertising division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus had approved the “No Crash Later” claim.
She added that another study showing the benefits of 5-Hour Energy was undergoing “peer review” for possible publication in a scientific journal. But she declined to say why the results of the study, which was apparently conducted five years ago, had not yet appeared. That study found a benefit when 5-Hour Energy was compared to a placebo like flavored water, she said.
There was a study in 2007 financed by Living Essentials that was never published but its results eventually came to light in a 2008 lawsuit filed by Monster Energy. The Times noted that it may be " the strangest trial in the annals of energy drink studies ” and that it was apparently done at the office of a proctologist in Maine.
In the study, 24 percent of participants experienced a “moderately severe crash that left them extremely tired and in need of rest, another drink or some other action,” according to the lawsuit filings.
Misleading? Or Not?
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