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Green light for test-tube drinks

Alcohol can still be sold in test-tubes following an inquiry under the Portman Group Code into whether this packaging causes people to drink rapidly.

The Portman Group’s Code prevents drinks companies from urging consumers to drink rapidly or ‘down-in-one’.

Alcohol Focus Scotland brought complaints against four brands: Quivers; Shot in a Tube; Shoeyz Shots and Shootaz, all of which contain 20ml of liquid and less than 0.3 units of alcohol.

Shootaz are produced by Tubular Drinks Co; Shoeyz Shots by Inatube Drinks; Shot in A Tube by Shooters UK and Quivers by Test Tube Products.

Research commissioned by the Portman Group found that although most consumers drink test-tubes ‘down-in-one’, this tended to be because of the small volume of liquid in the test-tube rather than because of the packaging itself.

David Poley, Portman Group CEO, said: “The Independent Complaints Panel was persuaded that this style of packaging was not causing harmful drinking. You could have 10 of these test-tube drinks and still be within the Government’s recommended drinking levels. Research also showed it was the small volume of liquid rather than the test-tube packaging that caused consumers to drink the contents ‘down-in-one’.”

While the Independent Complaints Panel dismissed the complaints against the four brands under the rapid drinking rule, it did find Shootaz in breach of Code for the “energy flavour” description on one of its test-tubes. The Panel decided that this implied that the product could enhance mental or physical performance, which is disallowed under the Code.


1 May 2010 - Felicity Murray