Boozy Treats – Alcohol For The Sweet-Toothed

AlcopopRevWhen USA Today reported on the rise of alcohol in everything from milkshakes to ice cream bars, it seemed a little unbelievable. Who, for example, wants Jack Daniels in their kids’ ice cream? Well, according to one manufacturer, the spiked ice cream sandwiches are selling pretty well, at about 10% boozy to traditional.

Then there’s other popular alcohol mixes: Sno cones with booze, wine shakes and beer pops. Yep, frozen beer on a stick.

Remaining neutral, USA Today gave opinions from both sides of the issue:

“These trendy waves are one more way of getting more alcohol out there,” says Sarah Mart, research director for the advocacy group Alcohol Justice. She says the move gains market share and is “one more way to target youths.”

The industry denies that. “Adults enjoying sweet drinks is as old as Martha Washington’s rum punch,” says Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute.

Meanwhile, the public hasn’t remained quiet. In San Rafael, CA, students and concerned organizations rallied to lobby for an “Alcopop-Free Zone.” They protested sales at a local 7-Eleven and got the city council to ban the tasty alcoholic mixes, reportedly designed to appeal to younger drinkers.

Restaurants have been adding desert style cocktails for some time. One example comes from the Cheesecake Factory, a popular family venue – they offer five different alcoholic milkshakes:

  1. Twisted Salted Caramel Pretzel
  2. Rockin’ Rocky Road
  3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss
  4. Flying Gorilla
  5. Strawberry Creamsicle

These are in addition to 13 more traditional fruit-based cocktails on the menu.

No one is accusing retailers of purposefully selling alcoholic items to minors. The concern is that these types of drinks are preferred by young, novice drinkers and act as “gateways” to get them used to drinking. However, it’s very difficult to prove the point. For now, they will be continued to be sold unless local governments specifically ban them.

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