Adolescent and young adult perceptions of caffeinated energy drinks ,

  • Bunting H
  • Baggett H
  • Grigor J
  • 3


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Understanding consumer attitudes towards foods remains critically important for manufacturers, retail- 31 ers and governing bodies. Regulation within the food industry should therefore support food choice 32 whilst protecting members of society. There have been concerns regarding beverages marketed as 33 ‘energy drinks’ and the levels of caffeine in these drinks. Focus groups were used to assess participants’ 34 perceptions and understandings of caffeinated energy drinks across three demographic age groups: 35 16–21, 22–28 and 29–35 year olds with the narrow age range providing a focused investigation of the 36 demographic group specifically targeted by industry. Thematic analysis revealed a number of differences 37 in participants’ perceptions of energy drinks between age groups in relation to themes of advertising, age, 38 alcohol, brand, efficacy, energy seeking, gender, sugar, peer influence, product attributes, safety and taste. 39 Future implications for the use of qualitative research within the health promotion industry are 40 discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • age food
  • attitudes
  • caffeine
  • energy drinks
  • focus group
  • regulation

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  • H Bunting

  • H Baggett

  • J Grigor

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