Panera Will Pull High-Caffeine Drinks At The Center Of 2 Wrongful Death Suits Off Menu

Panera will be discontinuing its caffeine-packed lemonade options, which are at the center of two wrongful death lawsuits.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported that the fast-casual chain is phasing out its Charged Sips beverages, which contain 155 to 302 milligrams of caffeine, according to its website.

Health experts advise that people drink no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, the equivalent of about four 8-ounce cups of coffee.

In a statement, a Panera spokesperson said the company was “excited to continue the success of our recent menu transformation,” noting that it will feature a “broad array of beverages,” including “low-sugar and low-caffeine options,” in the near future.

A mango yuzu citrus
A mango yuzu citrus "Charged" lemonade at a Panera in Novato, California. Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Though Panera did not say why the popular bakery-cafe was pulling its Charged Sips from the menu, the company is currently facing multiple lawsuits related to the beverages.

In October, the family of a 21-year-old woman who died of cardiac arrest after drinking one of the beverages filed suit against Panera, claiming the drink contained far more caffeine than the chain indicated in its nutritional facts.

The family of a 46-year-old man who also died of cardiac arrest after consuming several of the drinks sued in December.

In January, a 28-year-old woman filed a lawsuit over the beverages, claiming she was left with permanent cardiac damage.

In light of the legal action, the company had changed the labels on its Charged Sips options to “enhance” the “existing caffeine disclosure” out of “an abundance of caution.”

As of Tuesday, blood orange, strawberry lemon mint and mango yuzu citrus versions of the drinks still appeared on Panera’s online menu but with a warning that they are “not recommended for children, people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing women.”

In January, the company also moved the drinks from easy-access self-serve fountains in front of the store to behind the counter, where only employees can serve them.

Panera began selling its Charged Sips in 2022, hoping to capture a piece of the thriving energy drink market. The beverages were introduced in tandem with a subscription program offering unlimited refills on most fountain drinks.