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Mintel reports consumers’ perception on wine consumption

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — Health experts have addressed the benefits of drinking wine to boost overall health, and it seems that most consumers are taking notice.

New research by Mintel found that 85% of consumers believed moderate wine consumption is beneficial to overall health, while 87% of wine drinkers believed red wine in moderation can be good for your heart, compared with the almost half (44%) who believed the same about white wine. What’s more, 74% of wine drinkers agreed with the statement that drinking wine in moderation is better for your health than drinking beer in moderation, Mintel said.

Consumers also are more likely to drink wine during the holiday season; sixty-six percent of wine drinkers said they frequently drink wine on holidays and special occasions at home.

"Wine consumption increases around the holidays, as does the average amount spent on a bottle," said Garima Goel Lal, Mintel senior analyst, noting that the average amount spent for a special occasion or holiday party is about $26.71 per bottle.

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FDA kills buzz of caffeinated booze, issues warning letters to beverage cos.

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A class of alcoholic beverages that rapidly became popular among young people over the last few years is headed for the drain.

 

The Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to four manufacturers of beverages that combine high amounts of alcohol and caffeine, effectively issuing a federal ban on the beverages.

 

 

Companies receiving the letters are Portland, Ore.-based Charge Beverages, the maker of the Core High Gravity line of drinks; Chicago-based Phusion Projects, the maker of Four Loko; Boston-based New Century Brewing, which makes Moonshot; and La Mesa, Calif.-based United Brands, the maker of Joose and Max.

 

 

The FDA, which said its action was based on review of scientific literature and its own research, threatened seizure of the beverages if the companies failed to comply, though Phusion Projects had announced Tuesday its intention to remove caffeine from its products, which the FDA called a “positive step.” According to the research, the high levels of caffeine in the drinks can mask the effects of drunkenness.

 

 

“[The] FDA does not find support for the claim that the addition of caffeine to these alcoholic beverages is ‘generally recognized as safe,’ which is the legal standard,” FDA principal deputy commissioner Joshua Sharfstein said. “To the contrary, there is evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern.”

 

 

Caffeinated alcoholic drinks, particularly Four Loko –– which contains up to 12% alcohol in a 23.5-oz. can and as much caffeine as two or three cups of coffee –– have gained widespread attention amid reports of young people engaging in dangerous behavior and suffering injuries or dying after drinking them.

 

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United Brands sues Anheuser-Busch over competing flavored malt beverage

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO — The maker of Joose flavored malt beverages has filed a lawsuit against one of the nation’s most popular brewing companies, citing infringement and unfair competition.

United Brands, which has marketed its Joose line since 2006, is seeking to protect the brand integrity of Dragon Joose, one of its popular flavors. The company said Anheuser-Busch’s competing product, Tilt, boasts a product design "[that] intentionally infringes on [our] Dragon Joose marks and is thereby benefiting from the brand equity of United Brands and its products."

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, and includes such claims as trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition and related claims, United Brands said.

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