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Fresh wings: Red Bull slugs EU vitamin B energy health claims

By Shane Starling+

13-Jun-2013
Last updated on 13-Jun-2013 at 14:56 GMT

Red Bull's website is making much of EU-approved vitamin B health claims...
Red Bull's website is making much of EU-approved vitamin B health claims...

Energy drink leader Red Bull – previously hit by EU rejection of taurine health claims – is boosting its energy-attention marketing by using approved vitamin B claims.

Its website is making full use of a range of vitamin B claims authorised under the EU nutrition and health claim regulation (NHCR) in December 2012.

When 1000s of health claim rejections started rolling in after the NHCR process kicked into life in 2008, Red Bull and the whole energy drink were unimpressed by the rejection of staple ingredient taurine’s purported energy-giving capacity.

But many formulations – including Red Bull’s – already contained B vitamins, and so the strong energy sell of the category has been boosted further by the EU approvals and Red Bull is leading the way in their utilisation.

Energy boost

Red Bull’s consumer marketing continues to tote its ‘gives you wings’ line that now comes with official backing from the EU’s central science agency, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Its website states: “Vitamins are essential micronutrients that arerequired for maintaining normal body functions. B-group vitamins play an important role in energy metabolism, such as the build-up and break-down of carbohydrates and protein.”

“Moreover, B-group vitamins play a central role in the normal functions of the brain and nervous system and contribute to normal neurological and psychological functions.”

The Austrian energy drinks pioneer goes on to say: “The functionality of B-group vitamins has been assessed and confirmed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).”

The sector may also receive a further boost if EFSA approved but stalled caffeine claims pass European Commission and EU member state scrutiny.

As New Nutrition Business commented on the matter recently: Red Bull has always been a clever idea. Now it can be seen to be a lucky one too.”

EU B vitamin approvals include:

• Contributes to normal functioning of the nervous system (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12)

• Contributes to normal mental/ psychological function (B1, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12)

• Contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue (B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12)

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