In the Doghouse

A-B InBev's New Youth-Friendly Alcopop

February 18, 2015

Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B InBev) is targeting youth once again with fruity, soda-like alcopops. It would also love to grab some of the market share it's lost to spirits with MixxTail, its latest flavored malt beverage that mimics mixed drinks such as Long Island Iced Tea and Hurricane. Along with its popular Bud Light Lime-A-Rita alcopop line, Mixx Tail is intended to cash in on the popularity of the Bud Light brand among underage drinkers. A-B InBev is already one of the top alcohol brands among youth, with three products in the top 10 consumed by underage drinkers; Bud Light is number one.

A-B InBev has stated that the new product was created specifically with millennials' preference for fruity flavorsin mind. The product is clearly directed at even younger drinkers; teens are twice as likely as adults to drink alcopops. Though they're malt beverages, many alcopops contain higher levels of alcohol than beer, making them even more risky to youth. The Mixx Tail products are 8% ABV, and will come in 16-oz and 24-oz supersized cans. One 24-oz can would be equivalent to 3.2 standard drinks, enough to acutely intoxicate a 120-pound woman. Seventeen state attorneys general have referred to similar products as "binge-in-a-can," pointing out the public health and safety risk and the obvious targeting of youth.

While A-B InBev rakes in profits on its youth-oriented products, underage drinking causes more than 4,300 deaths each year and $27 billion in economic harm. It's time to stop the harm, and ban alcopops entirely.