Thursday, January 17, 2008

..but liquor is quicker

"Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker" -- Ogden Nash

To something but dandy and quick, corporations created Achopop:

(Image Courtesy of The Science in the Public Interest)

The LDS Church has decided they don't like these flavored malt beverages too much:
Church spokesman Mark Tuttle said today leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints support the Utah Attorney General and the state's alcohol-control board in their belief "that the sale of distilled spirits - including so-called alcopops - should be restricted to state liquor stores. To allow the sale of distilled spirits in grocery and convenience stores promotes underage drinking and undermines the state system of alcohol control," Tuttle said in a prepared statement.

Let's be honest, these drinks are basically beer, only taste sweeter. Studies have shown that underage children are watching ads featuring these drinks, but I have yet to see any studies that say more youth are drinking these rather than any other alcoholic beverage, especially one with similar alcohol content.

In fact, if anything, the market is taking care of the "problem" beverages all on their own.
When "malternatives" bubbled onto the scene in 2001, beverage companies everywhere could almost taste the sweet opportunities. A new category sprang up nearly overnight: 87 million cases of the stuff sold in 2002.

But today the market for flavored malt beverages, or "alcopops," is struggling, with 2003 sales down 14.6 percent, according to Information Resources. Individual brands (including the best-sellers) fare even worse: Sales of Bacardi Silver plunged 62.4 percent last year, Skyy Blue's dropped 58.1 percent, and market leader Smirnoff Ice's slid 33 percent. Others, like Diageo's Captain Morgan Gold, have disappeared altogether. United Kingdom-based Diageo took a £24 million write-off last year--about $42 million at today's exchange rates--to deep-six the product. Miller Brewing abandoned three of its four malternative brands, forcing a $40 million write-off in fiscal 2003 due to "excess production" of Sauza Diablo and Stolichnaya Citrona. Only its drooping Skyy brand remains.
Of course, this was in 2004, but I don't see any other stories about this type of drink other than the one about what Utah's liquor commission decided to do on a problematic 3-2 vote, "with the three nondrinking commissioners outvoting their two imbibing colleagues to send the proposal to the Utah Legislature." I just don't get what all the fuss is about.

I wonder if stores will sue the state on this legislation (assuming it passes).

1 comment:

Raymond Sebond said...

From a drinker's point of view I wouldn't mind seeing these drinks being banned, but each to their own I suppose.

What no one mentions is that by placing these drinks in the L Store the alcohol content will rise. And little kiddies who don't like the taste of beer will just instruct their buyer to stop by the liquor store.

The problem with having non-drinkers write the drinking laws is they simply do not understand the culture of drinking.