is the name
of a line of products sold by Energy Brands, Inc.
, a beverage
company based in the Whitestone
section of New York City
. According to its website, the company was founded in 1996 by J. Darius Bikoff
after a water scare in New York City gave him the idea to market alternatives to ordinary bottled water. The success of the Glacéau brand launched a new marketing category in the beverage industry: enhanced water. Glacéau's slogan is “hydrate responsibly”.
Energy Brands produces four main product lines under the Glacéau brand: vitaminwater
, and fruitwater
. Each are designed to appeal to a health-conscious clientele. Glacéau products are distributed in most of the United States
and, since the acquisition of the brand by Coca-Cola
, throughout Australia
and the United Kingdom
. The company also previously sold ready-to-drink coffee
beverages under the America's Best Brew
In October 2004, noted rap artist 50 Cent obtained a stake in Energy Brands, stating that he wanted to make his mark in “healthful beverages,” as opposed to other rappers who more tightly associate with alcoholic beverages (such as Hpnotiq or the Roc-a-fella Records distributed Armadale vodka). The company subsequently introduced a “Formula 50” flavor of vitaminwater, which was developed by the artist and refers to him on its label. After the sale of Glacéau to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion, the Queens born rapper earned an estimated $400 million. The Princess of Soul Alicia Keys recently signed a deal as spokesperson with VitaminWater which is worth more than $50 Million. Keys recently shot an ad campaign in New York City.
Athletes such as David Lee, Champ Bailey, Josh Howard, Tony Parker, Shaquille O'Neal, LeBron James, Tracy McGrady, Carl Edwards, Brian Urlacher, David Ortiz, Dwight Howard, Ray Lewis, Gilbert Arenas, Tom Brady, Derek Roy, Henrik Lundqvist, and David Wright have appeared in advertisements. Celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson, Jon Walker, Carrie Underwood, and 50 Cent have been sponsored by vitaminwater as well.
VitaminWater consists of vapor distilled, deionized, and/or reverse osmosis water; crystalline fructose (derived from corn syrup) as a sweetener; citric acid; electrolytes; natural flavors; and vitamins, including Vitamin C, B3, B5, B6, B12, and E. Other ingredients are added according to the flavor and intended purpose of the drink. It contains 33 grams of sugar in a 20oz bottle compared to the 65 grams in a 20oz bottle of regular Coke.
is vapor distilled municipal water and electrolytes
with 10 mg of calcium, 15 mg of magnesium, and 10 mg of potassium per liter. It is available in 750 mL
, 1 L
, 1.5 L, and 20 oz
is an energy drink
which consists of many of the same ingredients as vitaminwater, such as crystalline fructose, electrolytes, natural flavors, and vitamins (Vitamin B3, B5, B6, B12, and C) along with natural caffeine
. Specific ingredients are added according to the flavor of the drink. The product is advertised to not cause the unpleasant “crash
” associated with most energy drinks.
- Dragonfruit 9
- Tropical Citrus 18
- Fruit Punch 21
is a less sweetened version of vitaminwater. It consists of the same ingredients only with a light fruit flavor and less crystalline fructose. Aside from “natural flavor,” fruitwater does not contain any actual fruit juice. As of August 2008, nine flavors are now available.
- On April 5, 2006, Energy Brands Inc. filed a lawsuit against PepsiCo in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan alleging that PepsiCo's SoBe “Life Water” packages infringed its trade dress for similar drinks. In the subsequent settlement Pepsi agreed to change its packaging.
- On April 18, 2007, the National Football League fined Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher $100,000 for wearing a vitaminwater cap and drinking vitaminwater during media day for Super Bowl XLI because Energy Brands, Inc. is not an official NFL sponsor.
Acquisition by Coca-Cola
On May 25, 2007, The Coca-Cola Company
agreed to buy Glacéau in a cash deal valued at $4.1 billion. Tata Tea Ltd.
sold their 30% stake in Energy Brands Inc. to The Coca-Cola Company for $1.2 billion.
- Bounds, G. “Move over Coke: How a small beverage maker managed to win shelf space,” Wall Street Journal, Jan. 30, 2006. PDF online
- Chen, C. Y. “Darius Bikoff vs. Coke and Pepsi: Business is flowing for the godfather of 'enhanced waters.' That's why the big guys are taking note,” Fortune, Feb. 3, 2003.
- Stanford, D. “Coke intends to buy Vitaminwater-maker Glaceau,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 22, 2007. Article online
- Gangopadhyay, A. “India Tata Tea Units To Sell Energy Brands Stake To Coca-Cola,” Dow Jones Newswires, May 25, 2007.
- Iyadurai, S. “New-onset seizures in adults: Possible association with consumption of popular energy drinks” Science Direct, May. 30, 2007.