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Old 08-24-2014, 11:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Dirty tricks in packaging and merchandising


I'm a recovering alcoholic, and I've noticed some alarming trends in the manner of packaging and labeling beer in the store display case.

The worst is the 'high gravity' beers and designer wine coolers with around 10%-12% ABV. The "Four-Loco" and other such drinks are appealing to young people (they are sweetened and taste like soda-pop or candy mixed with the grossness of high-alcohol and probably the cheapest and poorest quality of malt liquor the companies can produce).

Two 'four locos' (sold in 25 oz cans), have about as much alcohol as a 12 pack of Bud light or Corona beer.

When I was battling my alcoholism, such high-alcohol beers were my staple, because they're generally cheap. The cheapest of the single (25 oz) cans in the beer case are typically the same ones with the highest alcohol content. They skimp on high quality grains when producing this beer in order to increase the profit-margin of the product.

Not only is that sort of a dirty trick, the size of the cans makes it seem like you're drinking less. If I have two cans of 12% malt liquor, I technically only have two cans of beer (even if the cans are double the size of a standard 12oz can) but again, in an hour or so, I just consumed the alcohol that is found in a 12 pack of standard beer, and that's a lot of beer in a short time.

Then there's the other trend, which is to sell beer in 16 oz cans instead of the standard 12 oz cans (it's hard to find a 'normal' six pack any more). perhaps this is a greater value for the customer, but it certainly helps the addict or dependent person to rationalize how much they're drinking.

It just makes me mad. I don't blame breweries for addiction, but I think in these cases they are certainly exploiting it.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Someone asked what it would matter if the gov't restricted alcohol content. It wouldn't matter. The addict will get the drug.
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Companies will always do what they can to make profit, in the capitalist world that's always going to be the focus no matter what the product being sold!!

The regulation is were the blame maybe lies, but then alcoholics will always get their fix no matter what, there has been plenty of talk were I'm from about reducing alcohol content, minimum pricing for alcohol, health warnings on alcohol packaging etc etc

24 packs of alcohol and litre bottles of alcohol for example have all been reduced in price across stores this weekend because it's a public holiday, again the purpose is to make profit within the guidelines of the virtually none existent regulation on alcohol here!!
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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how about this...

I started buying the 10 oz miller lites because, A) they would stay cold, B) because I would drink less beer if I was just counting cans of beer.
Problem is they went down pretty quick. I found I was drinking many more of the smaller ones than I would have if drinking the 12 0z beers. How does that work?
In the end, it just didn't matter. Drink whatever was available until desired effect is achieved. basically, until I ran out or passed out. I can try to blame whomever I wish for the reasons I consumed as I did. The bottom line is it was my decision to keep drinking. If no beer, then vodka or whiskey. That packaging had no influence on me.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had only myself to blame for my drinking. Alcohol always has been, and always will be available in just about every conceivable size, flavor and strength. We have a choice to drink it or not drink it.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do not pay no attention to no TV advertisements, nor billboard or display advertisements. I dont even notice liquor stores anymore. I do not really care anymore. People will buy what they will buy, its supply and demand. Liquor has a huge profit margin I know that much, but theres no difference in some can with X amount of alcohol, or buying Vodka or Everclear and mixing your own drink to 30% alc/vol.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Funny, I appreciated this as a gesture from the industry. They know there are a lot of broke alcoholics out there that need to get their fix. They wouldn"t be making those cheap strong drinks if there wasn't a market and demand for them.

That said tongue in cheek, I agree with you that we are being exploited. I just think most of us agree to their terms.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds like good marketing to me.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I wouldn't have called them dirty tricks when i was out there trying to get as buzzed as i could for as cheap as possible. I was such a thrifty drunk i would cost the stuff out to price per ounce. When I had my wits slightly about me. Now, i am very grateful to not have to worry about that today.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Broke or not, you will find a way to make your own DIY beer at home. Tons of stores out there to do it. Just have to wait. You wanna get blacked out stupid drunk, $20 bottle of the cheapest vodka you can find. Have Fun!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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We used to joke about thunderbird. How can anybody drink this sttt!? I picked up a bottle as a gag gift for a friend who was having a holiday party last winter. I couldn't make it to the party. One day I 'found' this bottle and put it in my refrigerator. My supply was low one day and I ended up drinking it. The $1 buzz.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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"High gravity" makes you fall down faster and harder by increasing the gravitational pull of the earth. "Ice" beer is a label designed to market malt liquor to yuppies in the nineties. There was some kind of legal change made years ago after which strong beer no longer had to be labelled as "malt liquor". In the star of Washington Coors Light is over 5%. But, hey, it won't make your butt big!
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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i always drank till it knocked me down. I will say the higher the alcohol content the faster i got there but the more punishing the blow seemed to be. The lower the alcohol the slower the delivery I suppost but I just kept it going. I guess some nights the lateness of the hour + the amt of drinks I had did me in. Other nights just the amount of booze I had was enough to do me in regardless of the hour and sometimes Since the night was still young yet i was rather far gone I'd simple puke and suddenly i was able to drink some more. In any case how it was packaged was really irrelevant to me other then It helped me fool myself. Ya know oh i'll get just 2 of these there only 12% and a 12 pack of that then i'll drink less ...... yeah never happened.

It does however make you wonder if they have alcholics on there marketing team doing there dirty work on ways to market this stuff to us drunks to help us fool ourselves and keep us coming.

I sometimes wonder how the owners of some of these beer places deal with selling so much booze to people day in and day out who are clearly alcoholics but of course they'd gt there booze either way.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
Broke or not, you will find a way to make your own DIY beer at home. Tons of stores out there to do it. Just have to wait. You wanna get blacked out stupid drunk, $20 bottle of the cheapest vodka you can find. Have Fun!!!!!!!!!!!!
So very helpful as always....
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