Kyle Busch has decided to shutter his Rowdy Energy Drink brand after a lawsuit claiming the firm used false advertising and dangerous chemicals.
The two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion launched the beverage in 2020 alongside entrepreneur Jeff Church with the goal of creating a cleaner and more natural energy drink that also had positive taste reviews.
Over the past year, the drink has been subject to a class action lawsuit in April and other notices of violations from a California non-profit dedicated to the enforcement of state chemical contaminant standards found in the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and other claims.
California has some of the most stringent chemical additive standards in the country and similar lawsuits and violation notices are filed routinely against a variety of beverage entities within the state.
In the most recent lawsuit, filed by the Aqua Terris Lawsuit on behalf of the Environmental Research Center, Inc., Rowdy Energy is alleged to have violated California Proposition 65, a 1986 law passed by state voters, that requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
In the suit: “Proposition 65 requires that a clear and reasonable warning be provided prior to exposure to the identified chemicals. The method of warning should be a warning that appears on the product label. The Violators violated Proposition 65 because they failed to provide persons ingesting these products with appropriate warnings that they are being exposed to these chemicals.”
Specifically, the Aqua Terris and ERC suit filed complaints against the following Rowdy Energy drink variations:
Consumer Products and Listed Chemicals. The products that are the subject of this notice and the chemicals in those products identified as exceeding allowable levels are:
1. Rowdy Energy Power Burn Pink Lemonade Energy Drink – Lead
2. Rowdy Energy Power Burn Watermelon Energy Drink – Lead, Mercury
3. Rowdy Energy Power Burn Mango Dragonfruit Energy Drink – Lead
4. Rowdy Energy Power Burn Pineapple Passionfruit Energy Drink – Lead
Violation notice against Rowdy Energy
In a November 27 complaint, Gerald P. Lake spearheaded a class action over the same standards. Lake alleged that he purchased Rowdy’s Pink Lemonade Sugar Free energy drink and that the drinks are fraudulently and misleadingly labeled as containing “No Preservatives.”
He claimed that the product contains citric acid and/or ascorbic acid, which are synthetic and artificial preservatives. He argued that the defendant deceived consumers into believing the drink was preservative free and that they would not have purchased the product had they known the products actually do contain preservatives.
Busch Wednesday statement.
“In 2020, I wanted to create a better-for-you, all natural energy drink that had great taste, so I launched Rowdy Energy. I’m really proud of our efforts and appreciate all the investors that stood behind me to help make my dream become a reality. We had quick success getting into 50,000 doors in just two short year thanks in part to the relationships I’ve been lucky enough to build during my years in racing.
“From its start, there’s no doubt that the popularity and success of Rowdy Energy was due to each of you! I cannot thank you enough for your support – from posts on social media … to telling me in person … to seeing it in your hands at race tracks – that has meant a lot to me, and I’m forever grateful.
“But unfortunately, I’m here to say that Rowdy Energy will be ceasing operations and closing its doors in the coming weeks. Like many new consumer brands, the headwinds have proven to be too strong, and it makes the most sense to end the journey so I can remain focused on my family and my racing career. While the news is sad to announce, I’ll always appreciate what I learned along the way. It was a fun ride, only fueled my passion for better-for-you energy drinks.”