MillerCoors LLC announced today that it will be “reformulating” Sparks, that heady quaff of alcohol, caffeine, and who knows how many chemicals. They will keep making Sparks, but with some completely new formula — and in a way that limits the beverages appeal to minors. From the Wall Street Journal:
MillerCoors, a joint venture of SABMiller PLC and Molson Coors Brewing Co., will voluntarily reformulate Sparks to remove caffeine, taurine, guarana and ginseng from the product. Sparks comes in tall 24-ounce orange-and-silver cans that sell for about $2.50 at retailers.
The agreement is a blow to the company because Sparks had a built a niche following and was the dominant product in the category. London-based SABMiller acquired the brand and several other alcohol products from McKenzie River Corp. for $215 million in 2006. It is unclear if fans of Sparks will continue to buy the drink without several of its principal ingredients.
Although it seems like forever, Sparks has actually only been on the market since 2002. The important question now, of course, is how will people cope during the nascent hours of Making Time? Why, this Friday’s party with CSS promises a “9-11 OPEN BAR W/ FREE SPARKS AND PBR!!!” It just won’t be the same!