FTC Requires Packaging Change for Four Loko Alcohol Beverage

October 10, 2011

The consent agreement requires Four Loko to clearly indicate its alcohol content and to be sold in resealable containers.

Pending final approval, the FTC has reached a consent agreement with Phusion Projects LLC, makers of the fruit-flavored, alcohol-containing beverage Four Loko, which requires Four Loko’s labeling to be changed to clearly indicate its alcohol content. Moreover, the agreement mandates that large-size servings should only be sold in resealable containers.

“Four Loko contains as much alcohol as four or five beers, but it is marketed as a single-serving beverage,” stated David Vladeck, director of FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a press statement.

Under the agreement, any container providing more than 1.5 oz of alcohol must be labeled “clearly and conspicuously” with a disclaimer. For Four Loko’s 23.5-oz product, the statement would read, “This can has as much alcohol as 4.5 regular (12 oz, 5% alc/vol) beers.” Furthermore, any product serving containing more than 1.5 oz of alcohol must be packaged in a resealable container.

In its complaint, FTC alleged that in commercials, Four Loko inferred, by showing consumers drinking directly from the non-resealable bottle, that the product was a single serving. Due to the beverage’s high levels of alcohol, this could be equated to “binge drinking,” the agency said.

Nutritional Outlookthanks Harry Rice for the tip.