CrotchSweat was available in the continental U.S. and Canada in a standard 16 oz can and in a larger 32 oz can which only had wide distribution in the Southern U.S. Early store displays drew media attention with their can pyramids positioned beneath a cardboard cutout of a woman in a skimpy bikini standing with legs spread, sweating profusely from the crotch. The displays were removed from the majority of Wal-Marts and Kmarts within days in all locations due to public outcries of indecency, while many others were stolen from the store. This prompted the Knutz Co to abandon the bikini girl promotion and launch a new series of displays using an anthropomorphic Welsh Corgi named Crotchy.
Like many other energy drinks then on the market, CrotchSweat included significant doses of caffeine and taurine for stimulation contributing toward purported heightened awareness, enhanced performance and fatigue relief. Its defining element was the inclusion of sweat secreted from the human crotch area, an ingredient not found in any rival products, and said to be collected using Knutz Co’s secret trademarked method. Although not released to the public, the collection method is believed to involve a device with a function similar to cow milking machines, using vacuum pressure cups for extraction connected to bulk tanks for storing.
Knutz Co’s now defunct website originally assured the purity of the crotch sweat used, which made up 3.7% of the beverage in each can of the regular type. The company pledge stated that “only the highest quality crotch sweat” was used, and that inclusion of sweat from other less odorous or more sanitary parts of the body were carefully avoided. Hoping to ease the worry of consumers who may fear the accidental inclusion of urine or feces in the drink, due to the location of parts manufacturing both being in the crotch area, the site boasted a 100% money-back guarantee for neither to ever be included, even in cans of salty Golden Blast flavor.
Television and magazine advertising of CrotchSweat relied heavy on shock tactics appealing to impulsive males in their teens or twenties. The first round of television commercials were a disorienting series of rapidly spliced extreme sports “fail clips” accompanied with an escalating screech, followed by a thundering percussion crash and a black screen with a product shot. Per urban legend, the screech has been said to have caused partial deafness in several hapless viewers who had the volume turned up high at the time of the commercial's airing.
The second and final round of commercials featured Heath Ledger, reprising his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Said commercials used similar disorienting camera effects and split-second shots of Ledger laughing maniacally, followed by the same percussion crash, but this time with a purple screen and “Why So Serious? Drink CrotchSweat” in scribbled writing along with the product shot.
Sales of CrotchSweat were sluggish from the outset, and only specialty stores stocked it in the latter half of its production. Consumer survey results found that users were widely dissatisfied due to it “smelling and tasting like crotch sweat”. In response to consumer input, Knutz Co. released an unadvertised “CrotchSweat Lite”, which misleadingly contained more calories than its counterpart, but included only 1.9% crotch sweat. Surveys found that users preferred it to regular CrotchSweat, due to “smelling and tasting less like crotch sweat”, but overall sales remained stagnant, and Knutz Co. filed for bankruptcy in February of 2008.
In late 2008, the recipe was bought from the original founder of Knutz Co by the Japanese beverage distributor, Otsuka Pharmeceutical Co., Ltd. The original product was converted into a transparent, more diluted version marketed as a sports drink called Pocari Sweat. Pocari Sweat is advertised to contain the sweat of 12 year old Russian girls, but has met controversy over rumors that “crotch sweatshops” utilizing entirely women over the age of 50 are the primary source of its trademark ingredient.
The Knutz Co was sued by a Delaware, U.S. man who complained of extended illness that cost him his job after drinking CrotchSweat in October 2007. The defense prevailed based on the argument that the man was “aware he was drinking sweat that came from some dude’s crotch.”