Panera discontinues highly caffeinated Charged Lemonades after lawsuits led to customer deaths

Boston, Massachusetts – Panera Bread is making significant changes to its menu offerings by discontinuing its highly caffeinated Charged Lemonades. This decision comes after facing several lawsuits regarding the drinks’ safety and potential health risks. The fast-casual chain’s representative confirmed that the Charged Lemonades will no longer be available for purchase.

According to a statement from Panera, the removal of the Charged Lemonades is part of a recent menu transformation that focuses on offering beverages with less caffeine. The decision was influenced by feedback from over 30,000 guests, leading Panera to prioritize a variety of beverages that cater to different preferences, including low-sugar and low-caffeine options.

The Charged Lemonade drinks were advertised as containing as much caffeine as Panera’s Dark Roast coffee, with a regular size containing 260 milligrams and a large size containing 390 milligrams of caffeine. This level of caffeine content has been a point of concern for some customers and has led to legal action against the chain.

In a notable case, the parents of a 21-year-old woman filed a lawsuit against Panera, claiming that their daughter’s death was related to her consumption of the Charged Lemonade. The lawsuit alleged that the drink was “unreasonably dangerous,” prompting further scrutiny of the beverage’s ingredients and potential health implications.

Another lawsuit in 2024 involved a 28-year-old woman who claimed that consuming the Charged Lemonade led to permanent cardiac injuries, despite having no underlying medical conditions. This case added to the growing concerns surrounding the safety of the beverage and its impact on consumers.

In response to the legal challenges and public outcry, Panera has taken steps to remove self-serve fountains containing the Charged Lemonade in some locations. The chain has also placed signs in stores directing customers to pick up their orders at designated areas, signaling a shift away from the controversial beverage.

As Panera continues to navigate the aftermath of discontinuing the Charged Lemonades, it remains to be seen how the chain will address the concerns raised by customers and legal issues surrounding the drink. The decision marks a significant change in Panera’s menu offerings and reflects a broader trend in the food and beverage industry towards providing healthier and safer options for consumers.