Red Bull is an energy drink sold by Red Bull GmbH, an Austrian company created in 1987. Red Bull has the highest market share of any energy drink in the world, with 7.5 billion cans sold in a year (as of 2019).
|Distributor||Red Bull GmbH|
|Country of origin||Austria|
|Ingredients||caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone, sucrose and glucose, B-group vitamins, and alpine spring water|
|Related products||Krating Daeng, Red Bull Cola, Red Bull Energy Shot, Red Bull Sugar-Free, Red Bull Total Zero|
Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz was inspired by an existing energy drink named Krating Daeng, which was first introduced and sold in Thailand by Chaleo Yoovidhya. He took this idea, modified the ingredients to suit the tastes of Westerners, and, in partnership with Chaleo, founded Red Bull GmbH in 1987 in Chakkapong, Thailand. In Thai, daeng means red, and a krating (known in English as a gaur or Indian bison) is a large species of wild bovine native to the Indian subcontinent. Yoovidhya's heirs own majority stakes in both brands, and they both use the same red bull on yellow sun logo while continuing to market the separate drinks to the respective Thai and Western markets.
Red Bull is sold in a tall and slim blue-silver can. Originally only available in a single nondescript flavor and regular or sugar-free formulas, a line of "color editions" with artificial fruit flavors were added to the line beginning in 2013. The Red Bull company slogan is "Red Bull gives you wings", occasionally "No Red Bull, no wings". Rather than following a traditional approach to mass marketing, Red Bull has generated awareness and created a "brand myth" through proprietary extreme sport event series such as Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Red Bull Air Race, Red Bull Crashed Ice and stand-out stunts such as the Stratos space diving project.
Red Bull's marketing also includes multiple sports team ownerships (Formula One teams Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri, football clubs RB Leipzig, FC Red Bull Salzburg, FC Liefering, Red Bull Bragantino and New York Red Bulls), celebrity endorsements, and music, through its record label Red Bull Records.
Energy drinks have been associated with health risks, such as masking the effects of intoxication when consumed with alcohol, and excessive or repeated consumption can lead to cardiac and psychiatric conditions. However, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that a moderate consumption of Red Bull and other popular energy drinks is safe and that the amount of caffeine in a standard Red Bull can is unlikely to interact adversely with other typical constituents of energy drinks or with alcohol. Energy drinks have the effects that caffeine and sugar give, but there is no distinct evidence that the wide variety of other ingredients has any effect.
In 1976, Chaleo Yoovidhya introduced a drink called Krating Daeng in Thailand, which means "red gaur" in English. It was popular among Thai truck drivers and labourers. While working for German manufacturer Blendax (later acquired by Procter & Gamble) in 1982, Dietrich Mateschitz travelled to Thailand and met Chaleo, owner of T.C. Pharmaceutical. During his visit, Mateschitz discovered that Krating Daeng helped cure his jet lag. In 1984, Mateschitz co-founded Red Bull GmbH with Yoovidhya and turned it into an international brand. Each partner invested US$500,000 of savings to found the company. Yoovidhya and Mateschitz each held a 49 percent share of the new company. They gave the remaining two percent to Yoovidhya's son, Chalerm, but it was agreed that Mateschitz would run the company. The product was launched in Austria in 1987.
In Thailand, energy drinks are most popular with blue-collar workers. Red Bull re-positioned the drink as a trendy, upscale drink, first introducing it at Austrian ski resorts. Pricing was a key differentiator, with Red Bull positioned as a premium drink and Krating Daeng as a lower cost item. In many countries, both drinks are available, dominating both ends of the price spectrum.
In 1992, the product expanded to Hungary and Slovenia. It entered Germany and the UK in 1994, the United States (via California) in 1997 and the Middle East in 2000. In 2008, Forbes magazine listed both Chaleo and Mateschitz as the 250th richest people in the world with an estimated net worth of US$4 billion.
Red Bull GmbH is headquartered in Fuschl am See, an Austrian village of about 1,500 inhabitants near Salzburg. The company is 51 percent controlled by the Yoovidhya family who, for technical reasons, own the trademark in Europe and the US.
In 1995, Krating Daeng authorized its drink, labelled as Red Bull, to be sold in China. Since 2014, the Austrian Red Bull (carbonated) has also been exported to China. This has created confusion since both drinks use the same brand name, in both English and Chinese.
Similarly, in Southeast Asia, Red Bull and Krating Daeng are often confused as both use the Red Bull name in their packaging, although they are two separate products aimed at different markets. The main difference is that Red Bull comes in a tall blue and silver can while the Thailand Red Bull, or Krating Daeng, is in a smaller gold can. The two drinks also differ in terms of taste—Red Bull has less sugar and is carbonated. The flavouring used for Red Bull is still produced in Bangkok and exported worldwide.
|Nutritional value per 100 mL|
|Energy||205 kJ (49 kcal)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.|
Depending on the country, Red Bull contains different amounts of caffeine, taurine, B vitamins (B3, B5, B6, B12) and simple sugars (sucrose and glucose) in a buffer solution of carbonated water, baking soda and magnesium carbonate (substituted in some flavors with a trisodium citrate/citric acid buffer, each solution providing electrolytes). To produce Red Bull Sugarfree, sugars sucrose and glucose have been replaced by the sweeteners, acesulfame K and aspartame or sucralose.
Red Bull identifies its flavours as "editions". Available editions vary with time and by country.
- Original (amber)
- Sugarfree (5 calories)
- Total Zero (no calories)
- Red Edition Watermelon
- Ruby Edition Pink Grapefruit (UK-only)
- Blue Edition Blueberry
- Yellow Edition Tropical (tropical fruit/mango-papaya)
- Yellow Edition Sugarfree Tropical Fruit
- Orange Edition Sugarfree Orange
- Green Edition Kiwi-Apple
- Green Edition Refreshing Splash (citrus lime) (Japan-only)
- Purple Edition Açai
- Purple Edition Sugarfree Açai Berry
- White Edition ("Coconut Edition" in the UK) Coconut & Berry
- White Edition Fresh Breeze (white peach) (Japan-only)
- Peach Edition Peach-Nectarine
- Lime Edition Lime
- Lime Edition Sugarfree Limeade
- Simply Cola
- Ginger Ale
- Summer Edition Dragonfruit (2021)
- Summer Edition Cactus Fruit (2021) (UK-only)
- Blue Edition ぶどう味 (Grape Flavor) (Japan-only)
- Orange Edition Tangerine
- Red Edition Cranberry - Replaced by Red Edition Watermelon
- Silver Edition Lime
- Cherry Edition Total Zero Wild Cherry
- Orange Edition Total Zero Tropical Orange
- Pear Edition Sugarfree Crisp Pear
- Spring Edition サクラフレーバー (Cherryblossom Flavor) (2016) (Japan-only)
- Summer Edition Kiwi Twist (2016)
- Winter Edition Zwetschge-Zimtnelke (Plum and Cinnamon) (2016) (Austria-only)
- Summer Edition Pink ("Ruby" in the UK) Grapefruit (2017) - Rebranded as Ruby Edition Pink Grapefruit
- Winter Edition Plum Twist (2017) (plum/cinnamon) (Austria/Canada-only)
- Summer Edition Coconut Twist (2018)
- Winter Edition Plum Twist (2018 and 2019) (plum/cinnamon) (Global release)
- Summer Edition Beach Breeze (2019) (coconut/tropical fruit)
- Winter Edition Holiday Spice (2019) (Canada-only)
- Summer Edition Sunny Beam (2020) (pear/passionfruit) (Japan-only)
- Summer Edition Watermelon (2020) - Rebranded as Red Edition Watermelon
- Winter Edition Arctic Berry (2020) (blue raspberry)
Several of these flavors have been rebranded for special events (the special grapefruit flavor, for example, has been branded as the "Bull" Edition, the "Red Italian" Edition, and the "F1 Edition").
Claims about the drink's effects and performance have been challenged on various occasions, with the UK's Advertising Standards Authority imposing advertising restrictions in 2001 in response to complaints recorded as early as 1997.
Energy drinks have the effects that caffeine and sugar provide, but experts still argue about the possible effects of the other ingredients. Most of the effects of energy drinks on cognitive performance, such as increased attention and reaction speed, are primarily due to the presence of caffeine. There is evidence that energy drinks can increase mental and athletic performance. Performance during prolonged driving is increased after consumption of Red Bull. Other tests for physical performance showed results such as increased endurance and power. Red Bull energy drink increased upper body muscle endurance during repeated Wingate tests in young healthy adults. Excessive or repeated consumption of energy drinks can lead to cardiac and psychiatric conditions.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that exposure to taurine and glucuronolactone at the levels presently used in energy drinks is not a safety concern. In a separate analysis, they also concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support a number of commercial health claims about taurine. A review published in 2008 found no documented reports of negative or positive health effects associated with the amount of taurine used in energy drinks, including Red Bull. The review also states that though the caffeine and sugar levels in the energy drink are comparable to those present in coffee and fruit juice respectively, these levels have been shown to cause adverse health effects.
In its scientific opinion on the safety of caffeine of 2015, the EFSA concluded that "consumption of other constituents of energy drinks at concentrations commonly present in such beverages would not affect the safety of single doses of caffeine up to 200 mg." Also, the consumption of alcohol, leading to a blood alcohol content of about 0.08%, would, according to the EFSA, not affect the safety of single doses of caffeine up to 200 mg. Up to these levels of intake, caffeine is unlikely to mask the subjective perception of alcohol intoxication. Habitual use of caffeine up to 400 mg per day does not.
The caffeine content of a single 250ml can of Red Bull is approximately 80–40 mg / 250 mL (32–15 mg / 100 mL). The caffeine level in Red Bull varies depending on country, as some countries have legal restrictions on how much caffeine is allowed in drinks. As is the case with other caffeinated beverages, Red Bull drinkers may experience adverse effects as a result of overuse. Excessive consumption may induce mild to moderate euphoria primarily caused by stimulant properties of caffeine and may also induce agitation, anxiety, irritability and insomnia.
The general population of healthy adults is not at risk for potential adverse effects from caffeine if they limit their consumption to 400 mg per day, which is the equivalent of 5 standard cans, with one can being 250ml in volume. Consumption of a single energy drink will not lead to excessive caffeine intake. Adverse effects associated with caffeine consumption in amounts greater than 400 mg include nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, increased urination, abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia), and dyspepsia. Consumption also has been known to cause pupil dilation when taken with certain antidepressants or SSRIs. Caffeine dosage is not required to be on the product label for food in the United States, unlike drugs, but some advocates are urging the FDA to change this practice. (Red Bull voluntarily lists the caffeine content in each can along with the ingredient list.)
Market approval and legal status
Authorities in France, Denmark, and Norway initially kept Red Bull from being sold domestically. However, as of 2014, it is on sale in all 27 member states of the European Union and in more than 167 countries around the world.
The French food safety agency was concerned about taurine. A Red Bull drink that did not contain taurine was introduced. The French refusal of market approval was challenged by the European Commission, and partially upheld by the European Court of Justice in 2004. The French food safety agency relented in 2008, because it was unable to prove a definite health risk, taurine-related or not.
In 2013, Red Bull told the Redwell Brewery, a Norfolk micro brewery, to change its name or face legal action, because it sounded too similar to Red Bull. The eight-man brewery in Norwich was told its name could "confuse" customers and "tarnish" its trademark. The two companies reached a settlement permitting Redwell to continue using its name.
In 2014, Red Bull entered into a US$13 million settlement to resolve two consumer class action lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Named as plaintiffs were Benjamin Careathers, David Wolf, and Miguel Almarez who had sued the company claiming breach of express warranty and unjust enrichment, alleging that Red Bull falsely asserted performance-enhancing benefits from the drink's ingredients that were unsubstantiated by scientific studies. On 1 May 2015 the Court approved the settlement, giving customers who had submitted claims the opportunity to receive a US$10 cash reimbursement or US$15 in Red Bull products within 150 days of affirmamce on any appeal. Contrary to reports from some news outlets, the plaintiffs had not alleged that the drink did not give consumers actual wings.
Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya, grandson of Chaleo Yoovidhya who founded Red Bull, was accused of crashing his black Ferrari into a Bangkok policeman, Wichian Klanprasert in 2012, dragging his dead body for dozens of metres, and then fleeing the scene. Many Thais were angered by the eventual move to drop charges, which prompted allegations of impunity for the rich and sparked calls on social media to boycott Red Bull products.
After boycott threats the Red Bull parent company tried to distance itself from the car-crash heir by releasing a statement: "TCP Group would like to clarify that Mr. Vorayuth Yoovidhya has never assumed any role in the management and daily operations of TCP Group, was never a shareholder, nor has he held any executive position within TCP Group".
Red Bull's international marketing campaign targets young men mostly with extreme sports. These range from motorcycle speedway, mountain biking, BMX, motocross, windsurfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, kayaking, rowing, wakeboarding, cliff-diving, parkour, surfing, skating, freestyle motocross, rallycross, Formula 1 racing, NASCAR racing, to breakdancing. Red Bull uses music and videogames, and has enlisted celebrities, such as Eminem (sponsoring the Red Bull "EmSee Battle Rap championships"). It hosts events like art shows and the "Red Bull Flugtag" (German for "flight day" or "flying day").
Red Bull owns football teams, with clubs in Austria, Germany, the United States, and Brazil featuring the Red Bull trademark in their names. By associating the drink's image with these activities, the company seeks to promote a "cool" public image and raise brand power. The energy drink has created a market for over 150 related types of products.
In the PlayStation 3's social gaming platform, PlayStation Home, Red Bull developed its own in-game island, specifically advertising its energy drink and the Red Bull Air Race event (for which the space is named) released in January 2009. In late November 2009, Red Bull produced two new spaces, the Red Bull Illume space, and the Red Bull Beach space featuring the Red Bull Flugtag, both released on the same day. In January 2012, Red Bull released its first personal space called the "Red Bull House of Skate" featuring an indoor skate park.
On the Apple App store Red Bull also has a few apps which include: RedBull.com, Red Bull TV, The Red Bulletin, RBMA Radio, Red Bull iFunk, Wings For Life- Selfie Run. As well as some games on the app store which are: Bike Unchained, Red Bull Kart Fighter 3, Red Bull Air Race The Game, Red Bull Racers.
In 2010, the company enlisted Adrian Newey to design a prototype racing car, the Red Bull X2010, for the videogame Gran Turismo 5.
Red Bull House of Art
The Red Bull House of Art is an art fellowship program that was launched by Red Bull. The program is held in multiple cities, most notably the Red Bull House of Art programs in Detroit, Michigan and São Paulo, Brazil, and the program typically consists of a three-month period during which time six to eight participants will create new artwork with the intent to display it in a final exhibition. During the fellowship the artists receive unlimited access to the galleries and a stipend for art supplies. Some of the artwork has been used in Red Bull advertising campaigns.
Sports sponsorships and acquisitions
- Red Bull Racing—a Formula One team based in Milton Keynes, England, World Constructor's Championship winner of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and produced the car for the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
- Scuderia AlphaTauri (Named after Red Bull's fashion brand AlphaTauri): Another Formula One team based in Faenza, Italy.
- RB Leipzig: a football club currently playing in the German 1. Bundesliga
- New York Red Bulls: a football franchise competing in Major League Soccer of the United States.
- Red Bull Sailing Team: an Extreme Sailing Series racing team.
- Team Red Bull: a Toyota racing team competing in the U.S.-based stock car racing competition NASCAR Red Bull Racing Team competed in NASCAR beginning in 2007. The team ceased operations after the Sprint Cup Series' 2011 season.
- FC Red Bull Salzburg: an Austrian football club based in Salzburg and competing in the Austrian Bundesliga
- FC Liefering: an Austrian football club based in Salzburg and competing in the Austrian Football Second League
- EC Red Bull Salzburg: a member of the Austrian Hockey League based in Salzburg, Austria
- EHC Red Bull München: a member of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga based in Munich, Germany
- Red Bull Brasil: a football club which played in the Brazilian Campeonato Paulista based in Campinas, Brazil
- Red Bull Bragantino: a football club which played in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Brazil
- Hoàng Anh Gia Lai FC: a football club played in V.League 1, Vietnam
- Red Bull Holden Racing Team – a Supercars team run by Triple Eight Race Engineering, manufacturer of cars 88 driven by seven-time champion Jamie Whincup and 97 driven by 2016 champion Shane van Gisbergen – Red Bull had sponsored the team as Red Bull Racing Australia, from 2013 until 2017, when the team was given sole factory backing from Holden, rebranding as the Red Bull Holden Racing Team.
- Red Bull Racing Brasil, a Stock Car Brasil team, from 2007 to 2017.
- Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, a team competing in MotoGP.
- Red Bull KTM Tech 3, a team competing in MotoGP.
- Škoda Motorsport rally team
- Red Bulls, a League of Legends team currently playing in the European League of Legends Challenger Series
- Esports team OG Dota 2.
- 100 Thieves
- Abt Sportsline
- Arrows F1 team from 2001 to 2002
- Audi Sport for the A4 DTM
- Batalla de los Gallos
- Cacá Bueno's speed record Vectra
- Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Renault
- Citroën World Rally Team (2008–2012)
- Cloud9 League of Legends Esports team
- EKS RX
- Ford Fiesta WRC
- G2 EsportsLeague of Legends Esports team
- Hansen Motorsport rallycross team
- Hyundai Genesis Coupe Pikes Peak edition
- Hyundai Veloster rallycross car
- Kamaz Dakar rally trucks
- JMB Racing Maserati MC12 GT
- KTM road, MXGP and Dakar rally bikes
- Red Bull Ajo Motorsport
- Red Bull Youth America's Cup
- Repsol Honda Team
- OG Esports organization
- Oracle Team USA
- Olsbergs MSE Ford rallycross team
- Peugeot 208 T16
- Peugeot 2008 DKR (2015)
- Sauber F1 team (1995–2004)
- SEAT Sport WTCC team
- Škoda Fabia S2000
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
- Volkswagen Passat DARPA Grand Challenge edition
- Andrew Dickson, pro BMX rider
- Volkswagen Polo R WRC
- Volkswagen Race Touareg Dakar edition
- Volkswagen V10 TDI Touaregs Pikes Peak edition
- Red Bull Team Cheever Indycar Team
- Emil Sayfutdinov, Pro Speedway rider
- Robert Lambert, Pro Speedway rider
In 2009, Red Bull added mainstream sport athletes to its roster of endorsements, which also includes persons involved in non-sporting activities.
- Reggie Bush, US NFL athlete announced at the 2009 Super Bowl.
- Ryan Dungey American Supercross, Motocross rider for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.
- Marvin Musquin French Supercross, Motocross rider for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.
- Dani Pedrosa, Marc Márquez, John Reynolds, Andrea Dovizioso, Casey Stoner, and Nicky Hayden
- Red Bull Junior Team, a program which sponsors young drivers competing in single seater racing. Since 2001 many young drivers developed careers in professional motorsport, with 13 participants having competed in Formula One, including quadruple F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, and Max Verstappen
- Skijumpers Gregor Schlierenzauer, Thomas Morgenstern, Adam Małysz, and Andreas Goldberger, snowboarders Mark McMorris, Torah Bright and Nathan Johnstone, and skiers Kaya Turski, Lindsey Vonn, Axel Lund Svindal and Alexis Pinturault.
- Dion Phaneuf NHL defenseman
- Professional golfer Rickie Fowler.
- Racing driver Andrew Jordan.
- Drift racing driver "Mad" Mike Whiddett.
- Squash professional and champion Mohamed El Shorbagy.
- Professional Tennis Players Dominic Thiem and Iga Świątek
- Professional chess player Hikaru Nakamura.
- Super Smash Bros. Melee player William "Leffen" Hjelte
- Street Fighter players Daigo Umehara, Masato "Bonchan" Takahashi, Darryl "Snake Eyez" Lewis, Olivier "Luffy" Hay, Adel "Big Bird" Anouche, and Tsunehiro "Gachikun" Kanamori.
- League of Legends player Enrique Cedeño Martinez (xPeke)
- Trail runners Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel at the Great Himalaya Trail
- Four times IHF World Player of the Year winner Cristina Neagu
- Red Bull sports events
- Red Bull 400
- Red Bull Battle Grounds: An eSports competition in popular video games Dota 2 and StarCraft 2
- Red Bull Stratos
- Red Bull Straight Rhythm
- Red Bull Double Pipe
- Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship
- Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
- Red Bull Drifting World Championship
- Red Bull Rampage
- Red Bull Road Rage
- Red Bull Kart Fight
- Red Bull King of the Rock Tournament
- Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye
- Red Bull Crashed Ice
- Red Bull X-Fighters
- Red Bull X-Alps
- Red Bull Air Race World Championship
- Red Bull Flugtag
- Red Bull Frozen Rush
- Red Bull Foxhunt
- Red Bull Cape Fear
- Red Bull Paperwings
- Red Bull Training Grounds
- Red Bull Art of Motion
- Red Bull BC One
- Red Bull Cold Rush
- Red Bull Dolomitenmann – A 4-man relay competition including trail running, paragliding, kayaking, mountainbiking
- Red Bull Elements – A 4-man relay competition including rowing, trail running, paragliding, mountainbiking
- Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
- Indianapolis motorcycle Grand Prix
- Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas
- Argentine motorcycle Grand Prix (2014–2015)
- Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix
- Red Bull Storm Chase – A worldwide windsurfing competition in storm conditions with wind speeds of at least force ten
- Red Bull Supernatural – A "backcountry boarding competition designed to challenge, then crown the best all-around snowboarder on the planet."
- Red Bull Soapbox Race
- Red Bull Unleashed – A surfing event at Surf Snowdonia, north Wales
- Red Bull World Bridge Series
- Red Bull Drift Shifters – Drifting event held on a pinball inspired street course in Auckland, New Zealand
- Red Bull Music Academy
- Red Bull Can You Make It
- Red Bull Timelaps
- Red Bull Ring, a motorsport circuit in Spielberg, Styria, Austria.
- Red Bull Arena (Leipzig), home stadium of German football club RB Leipzig.
- Red Bull Arena (New Jersey), home stadium of the American soccer club New York Red Bulls.
- Red Bull Arena (Salzburg), home stadium of Austrian football club FC Red Bull Salzburg.
- Hangar-7 (Salzburg), a multifunctional building with a collection of historical airplanes.
- Red Bull bridge, a recurring distinctly branded footbridge at race events such as the World Enduro Championship and Rally Deutschland.
- Krating Daeng
- Felix Baumgartner — stratospheric parachute jump 2012
- Red Bull GmbH
- Dietrich Mateschitz
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