The Federal Consumers’ Union denounces a strategy “essentially seeking to make the consumer forget that he is drinking alcohol”.
The UFC-What to choose bangs its fist on the table. While Hard Seltzers, from the United States, have been enjoying some success for several months among young people looking for healthier alcoholic beverages, the consumer defense association criticizes the marketing of these carbonated products, which contain around 5% of alcohol. Alongside Addictions France, UFC-Que Choisir announces in a press release on Tuesday that it is filing two complaints against a Hard Seltzer brand, Snomwelt, for “violation of the Evin law” and “misleading business practices“.
In question ? An industrial strategy aimed at mitigating the impact of these drinks, presented as being sugar-free and gluten-free. Franck Lecas, head of the Loi Evin division at Addictions France exhausted “illegal and misleading advertising on social media for these new alcoholic beverages which, despite what the alcohol industry would have us believe, are anything but healthy.” Especially since Snomwelt is not the only brand to be targeted by associations. In May 2022, Addictions France had already won two victories against Fefe and Opean for advertisements posted on their social networks, featuring moments of conviviality. It must be said that many brands, from Coca-Cola to Pernod Ricard, have also entered the market to attract an age group, eager for inexpensive, low-calorie and flavored drinks.
“An intense marketing campaign”
“We must put an end to these dubious marketing practices by alcohol producers, which consist in promoting the alleged virtues of these flavored drinks to better hide their alcohol content.“, denounces for his part Alain Bazot, president of the UFC-Que Choisir. For the association, hard seltzers have massively invested in France through “an intense marketing campaign» while these products “contain as much alcohol as other products such as beer and are based on the same principle of fermentation”. And to add that these last “essentially seek to make consumers forget that they are drinking alcohol.” The Evin law, dating from 1991 and amended in 2009, specifies that “advertising for alcoholic beverages, the manufacture and sale of which are not prohibited, is authorized (…). on websites, excluding those that appear to be primarily intended for young people or sports and provided that the propaganda or advertising is neither intrusive nor interstitial.”