First, what are alcopops? It’s a coined word for bottled beer or other alcoholic beverages with fruity flavorings to make them more palatable (alcohol + pop).
Who drinks them? Teens are 3 times as likely to know about alcopop products and 2 times as likely to have tried them as adults are1.
Why teens? Advertisers target young people with ads for these fruity, refreshing drinks. 81% of teens believe marketing these products to young people leads to underage drinking1.
What’s the Attraction? They’re fruity, sweet, often brightly colored, premixed and look like a soft drink bottle. The sweet taste masks the alcohol flavor so they’re preferred by youth who may not yet have ‘acquired the taste for beer or spirits’.
Are alcopops a problem? Yes! They are a gateway drug… creating a bridge for new drinkers to experiment. 90% of teens agree that alcopops make them more likely to try other alcoholic beverages1. 84% of teens say alcopops are always offered at parties*. Adults may not even realize these beverages contain alcohol; they look like soda or lemonade. Their fruity taste disguises the alcohol, but many contain 5-7% alcohol by volume… more than beer2.
What’s the risk? These beverages are particularly appealing to teenaged girls. For the first time in history, drinking by teen girls surpasses that of boys (59% compared to 52%3).Teen drinking can lead to: binge drinking, drunk driving accidents, earlier or increased sexual activity, increased risk of sexually transmitted infections, drug use, and sexual assault.
1 Center for Science in Public Interest
2 American Medical Association
3 Partnership for a Drug Free America