Ugly New Big Alcohol Trend: Spiking Childhood Drinks
The newest ugly Big Alcohol trend in the United States is spiking childhood drinks with alcohol, such as DrunkenD the alcohol version of the orange juice Sunny Delight.
The new trend is marketed to 20- to 30-year olds or the millennial generation through spiking popular drinks of their childhood with alcohol. Big Alcohol is using childhood memories of this generation to push their products. It shows the desperation of the industry to increase consumption of their products in this generation who are increasingly going alcohol free.
Some other alcoholic drinks marketed using this tactic are Lucky Charms beer and spiked Capri Suns. Spiking childhood drinks is perverse and contradictory, considering alcohol is an adult product with most countries having a minimum legal age for alcohol use of at least 18 years, because alcohol is especially harmful to the developing brains of children and adolescents.
Big Alcohol putting children at risk
Another concerning fact is packaging alcohol using childhood drink themes because these products will be attractive to minors and increases the risks of them initiating alcohol use. For example, there have been beer labels meant to mimic Snickers bars to Cookie Puss cakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruity Pebbles boxes, Fanta cans, ICEEs, and, Capri Sun pouches. There have been cans adorned with children’s icons like Kermit the Frog, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Harry Potter, Goosebumps, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Beavis and Butthead. It doesn’t stop at beer. There are peanut butter flavoured whiskey, poppable scotch pods and alcoholic candy.
And its not only by looks that these products attract children, even the taste is more suited to children. Cynically, it seems Big Alcohol is trying to get two birds with one stone from this strategy by both drawing in millennials and marketing to children.
It has been scientifically proven that alcohol marketing awareness among youth both below and above legal age for alcohol use increases consumption and high-risk consumption.
This isn’t the first time that Big Alcohol use unethical marketing to attract children. The same trend was reported in Australia with products such as frozen vodka ice blocks and cheap ciders labelled with rainbows, unicorns and cartoons.
Bars are quick to adapt to this trend of Big Alcohol with a cocktail range evoking childhood nostalgia. For example one bar called Hush Money has cocktails named “Someone Borrowed my Hoodie” and “The Break Up”.
This ugly new trend shows Big Alcohol will stop at nothing including endangering children to increase their profits.