June 29, 2023
Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-823-8442
Washington, D.C. – The National Consumers League (NCL) and nine other health and consumer organizations recently called on the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to increase its oversight over large global soft drink brands entering the alcohol marketplace.
The joint letter, which was submitted as part of the TTB’s public comment period regarding updates to Trade Practice Regulations, expressed concern that without sufficient oversight, the lines between soft drinks and alcohol beverages will continue to blur and lead to more underage drinking.
“Especially since alcoholic soft drinks, which may contain 5 percent alcohol by volume or more, tend to be inexpensive, are packaged in single-serving containers and tap into young people’s connection to brands they have grown up with,” the groups wrote in the letter.
In addition to the risks posed by the packaging and marketing of alcoholic soft-drinks, there are numerous documented instances where traditional soft drink brands and their alcohol-containing versions are being placed side-by-side in store aisles, as well as instances of alcoholic products being marketed next to children’s products.
In response to these instances and the corresponding risk for heightened underage drinking, the groups are calling on the TTB to expressly prohibit soft drink companies from paying slotting fees to procure more prominent shelf space for their alcohol sodas, hard seltzers, and ready to drink cocktails, as well as look into vertical integration by soft drink makers entering the alcohol space.
“The health and safety of the nation’s teens and adolescents require regulatory firewalls that continue to ensure alcohol products are not marketed to underage consumers,” the groups added.
In addition to NCL, signatories to the public comment letter include:
- Alcohol Justice
- Alliance for Better Children’s Diets
- Consumer Reports
- Families USA
- Global Liver Institute
- National Alliance for Hispanic Health
- National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
- National League for Nursing
You can read the full letter HERE.
About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit nclnet.org.