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    Cocaine Energy Drink Back on the Shelves

    While the controversial energy drink was renamed, its Web site and online social networking sites sport the drug-related theme.

    LAS VEGAS -- Although it sports a new moniker, Redux Beverages' Cocaine energy drink, the controversial beverage that garnered much media attention and was eventually pulled from retailers' shelves, is back with the same ingredients and formula, the company stated.

    "Retailers and consumers alike were begging us to get the drink back on the shelves," Redux founder, Jamey Kirby, said in a statement. "Since the FDA warning letter last April we have been working closely with them to adjust the marketing of the drink and now the rebellious and fun Cocaine brand is out of rehab and back on shelves."

    The beverage, also available at www.drinkcocaine.com, was voluntarily renamed due to FDA concerns in June 2007, and its relaunched product features a nameless can with a white "billboard" where consumers can write their own message, according to the company.

    "We liked the idea of letting people name the drink what they wanted, rather than having to come up with another name as controversial as Cocaine energy drink," Raymond Herrera, marketing director for Redux Beverages, told CSNews Online via email. "We came up with the idea that we would make the drink and you could name it whatever you want. We also wanted people to call it something more controversial than we had done with the Cocaine energy drink name."

    In October 2006, CSNews Online reported that the largest convenience retailer in the U.S., 7-Eleven Inc., recommended franchisees remove cans of the Cocaine energy drink from shelves in their stores.

    When asked by CSNews Online if the drink would be back on 7-Eleven shelves, spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said "we have no plans at this time to do a national launch of this product." She added that some franchisees may decide to carry the drink on their own as a "non-recommended item," and that the company's category manager for the category had not yet reviewed the new drink, and would first have to see the new cans, meet with the manufacturer and understand its marketing plan.

    "We are open to new products, but there is a process," she said.

    The energy drink formerly known as Cocaine comes in a red 8.4-ounce and is available in three flavors -- Original, a red, cinnamon-based drink with 280-milligrams of caffeine; Cut, which lacks the cinnamon flavor; and a sugar-free variety called Free.

    To publicize the re-launch, the company introduced a social network Web site at www.drinkcocaine.com/social, where visitors can upload user-created content, network with others, view videos and read blogs, according to the company. The site will also host contests and giveaways, starting with a special package for Valentine's Day, the report stated.

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