Four Loko Appearing Without Caffeine
COLUMBIA - A popular alcoholic energy drink called Four Loko has made headlines in the last few months. This week, it will start appearing in stores without some key ingredients. The drink used to contain 12 percent alcohol and as much caffeine as a 12 ounce cup of coffee.
After an investigation and warning from the Food and Drug Administration, the makers of the product decided to remove the caffeine last week. They are also removing two other ingredients, guarana and taurine, making the drink a little less "Loko."
Four Loko's nickname is "blackout in a can." It rose to popularity, especially among college students, because of the alcohol and caffeine combination. At $2.50 a can, it is cheaper than most other alcoholic drinks.
After many incidents where Four Loko was involved, several states and colleges banned the product. Last Monday, Kansas joined the states banning Four Loko. It's unclear whether Missouri will join in the ban.
The drink with its original ingredients is still for sale at some retailers in Columbia. But many have pulled the drink from their shelves including HyVee. A Break Time employee said Break Time removed all of its Four Lokos two weeks ago.
At Schnucks, the caffeine drink was noticeably missing from the cooler. "They had us pull them all until they get the new batch," said one employee.
That caffeine-free new batch has some people wondering if Four Loko will loose its popularity.