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Panera Discontinuing Charged Lemonade Drink After Lawsuits


Panera’s Charged Lemonade has been under fire from consumers and regulators after lawsuits alleged the highly caffeinated beverage has been the source of long-term health problems and even death.

Now, the chain has decided to phase out the drink as a part of overarching menu changes.

RELATED: ‘100% Should Be Illegal’: Woman Exposes Jaw-Dropping Amount of Caffeine in Panera Lemonade

“We listened to more than 30,000 guests about what they wanted from Panera, and are focusing next on the broad array of beverages we know our guests desire — ranging from exciting, on-trend flavors, to low sugar and low-caffeine options,” a spokesperson for Panera told CNBC.

According to Bloomberg, Panera will begin discontinuing the drink within the next two weeks and replace it with a “broad array of beverages” featuring a blueberry lavender lemonade, a pomegranate hibiscus tea, a citrus punch, and a tropical green smoothie.

The beverage was at the center of three major lawsuits, two of which were filed on behalf of the families of 21-year-old Sarah Katz and 46-year-old Dennis Brown. Both died after allegedly consuming the Charged Lemonade, citing pre-existing medical conditions.

Another lawsuit filed in January claimed that 28-year-old Lauren Skerritt developed long-term heart problems as a result of consuming two and a half of Panera’s Charged Lemoandes.

“You put an innocuous product like lemonade in an innocuous bakery-cafe like Panera, what reasonable consumer is going to be thinking that they’re drinking, essentially, three Red Bulls?” said Skerrit’s lawyer Elizabeth Crawford at the time. “Everything in her life has been altered because of this situation.”

Per Panera’s nutrition information, one large 30 oz. serving of the Charged Lemonade contains 390 mg of caffeine in addition to guarana extract, a natural stimulant.

Related: Panera Sued: Alleged Charged Lemonade-Related Heart Issues

According to the FDA, the maximum amount of caffeine that the average adult can safely consume per day is 400 mg, though the average adult consumes about 135 mg of caffeine daily.

Panera did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur’s request for comment.

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