Four Loko Is (Spiritually) Dead

Categories: Food Politics

four_loko_dead.jpg
Photo by Kyle James
Dead!

Well, that's it. Nearly a decade after it was first introduced and four years after it removed caffeine (and two other stimulants) from its formula, the Four Loko that once was is finally dead.

Chicago-based Phusion Projects came to a settlement Tuesday with 19 different state attorney generals and the attorney general of San Francisco to no longer include caffeine in any of its alcoholic products (they actually stopped in 2010) as well as not market to people under the age of 21. While the Four Loko brand may live on, the idea behind the drink is now officially dead -- today, it's basically glorified Smirnoff Ice.

"While our company did not violate any laws and we disagree with the allegations of the State Attorneys General, we consider this agreement a practical way to move forward and an opportunity to highlight our continued commitment to ensuring that our products are consumed safely and responsibly only by adults 21 and over," Phusion president Jim Sloan said in an email statement.

I'm not going to eulogize Four Loko. It wasn't even unique. By the time it hit maximum hype, three other companies were already producing caffeinated alcoholic drinks by the Arizona Iced Tea-sized cans (Anyone remember the horrible named "Joose"?).

Who will miss Four Loko? I'm not entirely sure. It definitely won't be college students -- I never actually saw anyone physically drink a can while I was in school, and we all had our own personal jungle juice recipes at hand.

And how will, as one of my good college drinking buddy put it, "keep the party going?" Well, we'll just fall back on the tried and true -- jager bombs, jager bombs for everybody.

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You can also follow Charles Lam on Twitter @charlesnlam. He's less sardonic there, we swear.

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