A new trend may be emerging in the USA, where action against supersized alcopops has been undertaken by both policy makers and the alcohol industry watchdog Marin Institute. In the state Vermont a bill has been introduced banning the sale of flavored malt beverages in containers larger than 12 ounces. The Marin Institute meanwhile has started a petition against the Pabst Brewing Company to stop Targeting Youth with Supersized Alcopops.
The Marin Institute petition was inspired by the planned launch of Pabst new supersized, high-alcohol alcopop called Blast. The fruity, caffeine-laced , 12% alcoholic beverage is packaged in 23.5 ounce single serving cans (4.7 regular drinks of alcohol) and popular rapper Snoop Dogg is starring in commercials for the new product. As of April the drink will be available in flavors such as grape, raspberry watermelon, strawberry lemonade and blueberry pomegranate. Critics say that the cans can easily be confused for fruit drinks. Because of the colorful packaging, the fruity flavor and the commercials starring a rapper popular amongst young people the Marin Institute claims that the product is being targeted to youths. In their petition they call on Pabst to stop targeting youths. In an interview with Sfweekly.com Michael Scippa, spokesman for the Marin Institute said that the petition would not be enough. That’s why the Marin Institute is lobbying for a ban on supersized alcopops.
Over in Vermont representatives Tom Stevens and Diane Lanpher introduced a state legislation that will ban the sale of flavored malt beverages in containers larger than 12 ounces. This bill may very well be inspired by Marin Institute model bill to restrict supersized alcopops. This model bill was introduced in January 2011 and spread via the internet for states to adopt to their own needs. At the time of the release of the model bill plans were being drawn in California, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma and South Carolina for a legislative ban on supersizes alcopops.