FTC Requires Packaging Change for Four Loko Alcohol Beverage

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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.