4 Associations, Including NACS, Issue Responsibility Commitment for Crossover Alcohol Products

Objectives include ensuring ads are directed to those of legal-drinking age, using packaging and branding ‘easily distinguishable from their nonalcohol beverage counterparts’
SunnyD Vodka Seltzer
Photograph courtesy of SunnyD

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is among four groups that have issued a joint responsibility commitment regarding the marketing and merchandising of crossover alcohol products.

Crossover alcohol products are generally categorized as alcohol beverages using the product and intellectual property (brand names, logos, etc.) of existing nonalcohol brands, said Alexandria, Virginia-based NACS, which partnered with the Food Industry Association (FMI), Arlington, Virginia, and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, both based in Washington, D.C.

SunnyD, for example, last year launched an alcohol version (pictured).

“This industry commitment includes actions for suppliers to ensure crossover brand products abide by the DISCUS Code provisions, including advertisements directed to legal-drinking-age adults and the use of packaging and branding that is clearly and easily distinguishable from their nonalcohol beverage counterparts,” NACS said.

The commitment also includes provisions for retailers and wholesalers to make sure these products are properly placed in convenience stores and supermarket locations—in addition to employee training and any needed efforts to avoid consumer confusion, NACS said.

“Our nation’s convenience stores proudly serve as an important market for consumers to purchase their favorite beverage, and this commitment showcases our efforts to reduce the potential for confusion and ensure our customers are aware which products in our stores contain alcohol,” said Henry Armour, president and CEO of NACS.

Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS, added, “Today’s commitment brings together all three tiers—suppliers, wholesalers and retailers—reinforcing our dedication to responsibly advertise, market and merchandize these products in a manner that avoids consumer confusion and ensures they are only marketed and sold to legal-drinking-age adults.”

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