Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Drank: The New Pseudo Drug

The success of energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar have proven that consumers are constantly thirsting for a boost. But will they ever want to come back down and reach for a nonalcoholic drink that will help them chill out? According to the recent sales figures from Innovative Beverage Group, a Houston-based drink distributor and maker of a "relaxation beverage" called Drank, there's strong demand for the anti–Red Bull too.

The company's revenues, though small, were up 198% in 2008, to $2.2 million, and it turned a $172,000 profit last year, compared with a $320,000 loss in 2007. Peter Bianchi, founder and CEO of Innovative Beverage, says first quarter '09 revenues, fueled by Drank's success, are up 534% year over year. During the past few months, the company has signed a slew of distribution deals in places like Atlanta, St. Louis, Mo., and Grand Rapids, Mich. And at the end of April, the emerging brand scored the big one: 7-Eleven announced it would roll out Drank to stores nationwide.

The name Drank has roots in Houston's hip-hop scene; "purple drank" is a slang term for an illegal concoction that mixes codeine syrup with soft drinks or alcohol. Several Houston community leaders have protested the beverage's name, arguing that it glorifies the drug culture.


Capitalism is a double edged sword. On one hand, it gives almost everyone the opportunity to make as much money as possible. On the other hand, it allows people to make money off of entities that are harming our society. The Drank manufacturers are capitalizing on the "Sizzurp" craze that is found predominately in Texas. I am not surprised at the popularity of this pseudo drug beverage. The real drug has been glorified in hip hop culture for years. It has also led to the deaths of Chad "Pimp C" Butler, DJ Screw, and countless other people who aren't famous. I feel like the makers of Drank are socially irresponsible because they are capitilizing on something that is deadly. The FDA needs to ban it like it did the Cocaine Energy Drink.

Big Moe crafted a song called "Purple Stuff" that is a ode to the drink that eventually claimed his life. His story should be a cautionary tale for anyone who wants to develop a taste for Sizzurp.

Everybody clap yo' hands and sing along wit me
It's Big Moe, da barre baby, representin these Southside streets
Now if you ain't heard of me then you don't know wassup
You can find me on them Screw CD's talkin about 'Purple Stuff'


Luxury Girl said...

Its so getto. I hate Drank.

Julius Coxswain said...

Ghetto, yet very profitable. This is a crazy world...