New beverage category targeted by AGs


Energy drinks have become a hot category for beverage manufacturers and are known to be popular among younger demos. And watchdogs have long been concerned about the marketing of alcohol-containing malt beverages, sometimes known as malternatives or alcopops, which also tend to be consumed by younger demos and to trickle down into the hands of underage drinkers. A whole new category of drink, alcholic energy drinks which mix attributes of both have inspired a coalition of 29 state attorneys general to petition the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to take a closer look, according to They argue that the companies, which include Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing and Charge Beverages, are using the energy drink craze to get their products into the hands of young consumers. As evidence, the quote a tag-line from an A-B ad for its Bud Extra which tells its target audience "You can sleep when you’re 30." The manufacturers are defending both the drinks and their marketing, which they say are aimed at legal age consumers only. A-B expressed surprise that their relatively low-alcohol content drinks were getting AG scrutiny when studies show much of the serious underage alcohol abuse involves distilled products.