A complaint about the packaging of Kopparberg Frozen Fruit Cider for not communicating alcoholic nature and appealing to under-18s has not been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP).  A copy of the full decision can be read here.

The complainant, Alcohol Concern’s Youth Alcohol Advertising Council (YAAC), believed that the style of the packaging resembled a well-known children’s drink and the fruit flavours would appeal to under-18s. YAAC also considered that the alcoholic nature was not clear therefore breaching the Portman Group Code under sections 3.1 and 3.2(h).

The Panel discussed whether the alcoholic nature of the drink was communicated with absolute clarity. They found that the word ‘cider’ and ‘contains alcohol’ were prominent on the packaging as was the ABV strength. Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rule 3.1.

The Panel deliberated whether the packaging could particularly appeal to those under 18. The Panel noted a number of significant differences in comparison to the packaging of well-known soft drinks. The product did not have a straw and was not designed to be consumed directly from the pouch. The product was intended to be taken home, frozen and then poured into a glass. The Panel considered that this ritual was targeted at an adult audience.

The Panel also concluded that the colours used on the packaging, particularly the use of black, gave the product a premium appearance that would be more appealing to adults.

Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rule 3.2(h) – particular appeal to children.

Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, Henry Ashworth said:

‘‘It is important when using innovative packaging and serving styles that producers are particularly careful to avoid appealing to under-18s and ensure that the alcoholic nature is made absolutely clear. The Portman Group’s free advisory service is always on hand to support producers, visit our website for their contact details.”