Spirits sachets face trade ban

13 October, 2008

ShotPak sachets are being withdrawn from sale in the UK after falling foul of the Portman Group's code of practice.

Portman's Independent Complaints Panel banned the products "because of their similarity to soft drinks, appeal to children and their encouragement of rapid and excessive drinking".

The complaint about the 5cl plastic pouches, produced by Florida-based Beverage Pouch Group and imported by Chilling Rocks Beverages, was initially made by MP Sally Keeble.

The pre-mixed vodka drinks are produced in four flavours: Apple Sour, Lemon Drop, Purple Hooter and Kamikaze. There are also full-strength vodka, rum, tequila and whisky versions which are primarily marketed as STR8UP but which feature ShotPak branding.

Following the Panel’s decisions, the Portman Group will be issuing a retailer alert bulletin instructing retailers to stop selling ShotPak and STR8UP.

David Poley, Portman Group chief executive, said: “These drinks may be acceptable in the States but their marketing falls well short of the standards that UK producers have set themselves.

"Some of their names will be particularly popular in the playground. Kamikaze is a blatant breach of our Code for its association with bravado and danger.

"These drinks do not spell out their alcoholic content and the images of fruit add to the confusion over what is in them. They cannot be easily re-sealed and their soft packaging makes it hard to stand them up. That’s why the Panel decided that this packaging is encouraging consumers to drink rapidly.

"Sally Keeble’s complaint will prevent these imported drinks from getting a foothold in the market.”

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