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Alcohol Issues Insights

 

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Alcohol Issues INSIGHTS keeps you fully informed about critical alcohol policy issues. Every month,Alcohol Issues INSIGHTS delivers four pages packed with the information you need to answer critics and educate the public. In addition, e-mail subscribers receive 40 weekly updates with the latest news.

Alcohol issues are increasingly on the front burner. Politicians, advocacy groups and the media are turning up the heat even as a large and growing body of scientific research establishes the many health benefits of moderate drinking. These very issues - attacks by anti-alcohol activists and the facts about the health benefits of moderate drinking - have always been the focus of Alcohol Issues INSIGHTS. Here's a small sampling of the news and info you'll get:

In Alcohol Issues INSIGHTS, you'll find exclusive articles. Some detail the latest studies adding to the vast body of research showing benefits of moderate consumption. Others monitor the progress against alcohol abuse. Still others track the latest moves of the New temperance movement.

Beer industry executives find Alcohol Issues INSIGHTS to be both informative and highly readable. Our editors distill key points from often complex material. When the research raises questions, we ask them. When the conclusions don't match the data, we point that out. Expert contacts developed by our editors over the years provide additional legal and scientific perspective. A one year-subscription - that's 12 monthly issues plus 40 weekly updates - is priced at $510 dollars (add $15 outside of US.). As with all our newsletters, we offer a money-back guarantee: if Alcohol Issues INSIGHTS fails to meet your expectations, we will gladly refund the unused portion of your subscription.

 

 

While consumers (mostly) flock to low-ABV seltzers, public health advocates/researchers continue to focus on the high-ABV FMBs, specifically “supersized alcopops,” high ABV malt beverage products sold in large cans. The latest study, published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, takes aim at Four Loko brands, and specifically at what the authors deem to be especially low prices per serving. Sampling data from Four Loko’s own website on where the brands can be found in the largest city in every state, plus DC, the authors followed up with retailers to obtain information on pricing and discounts. Data based on 344 retail locations showed that the “average price per standard drink,” 14 grams of absolute alcohol, “was $0.54 for Four Loko products.” The authors then do the math to determine that “taking into account volume, price and discounts, an average of 17 standard alcohol drinks could be purchased via Four Loko with $10.” Thinking about this further, they conclude that the study “verifies that Four Loko is among the least expensive ready-to-drink alcohol available in the United States.” What’s more, since a single can “constitutes binge drinking and is therefore unsafe, regulatory agencies should consider a variety of steps to reduce the…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2019
  • Volume 36
  • Issue # 23
Did someone say Americans are re-thinking temperance and re-visiting drinking guidelines? “It’s time to reconsider whether America’s ‘noble experiment’ was really such a failure after all.” So insisted Vox’s German Lopez in a mid-June article that concludes, as our headline notes, that “Prohibition worked better than you think.” The article received some buzz at the recent meeting of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA), but not a lot of attention otherwise. In any case, Lopez makes the case by setting up a classic straw man, claiming that extremists like Carrie Nation actually “were driven by real problems caused by excessive drinking,” as if anyone had ever argued the contrary. In substance, Lopez attacks two key arguments that Prohibition failed. First, “contrary to conventional wisdom, the evidence also suggests that Prohibition really did reduce drinking.” Second, “newer research even indicates banning the sale of alcohol may not have, on balance, led to an increase in violence and crime.” Closer, subsequent review of different data sources, Lopez reports, suggests: “A 30% reduction at a minimum in consumption, although that was less than the initial effect, as people figured ways around the law.” Reducing availability and raising price, goes this argument,…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2019
  • Volume 36
  • Issue # 21
Sorta-sober is kinda cool now, didn’t’cha know? That storyline picked up steam this Spring, following the slew of stories we featured in our April issue, which recall also questioned the statistical significance of this “new sobriety” trend. Yet that was the title of an extensive piece published by The New York Times in mid-June, reviewing the growing resources available to folks cutting back or eliminating alcohol entirely. Plenty more glowing coverage appeared this month, admiring both health-and-wellness adjacent alcohol beverage products and growing non-alc options. But more often this month, writers threw cold water on the trend. “Alcohol brands have set their blurry sights on the slippery concept of wellness,” Eater headlined, followed less than a week later by the NY Post’s blunt take: “Don’t believe the hype - experts say wellness beers, wine are BS.” Whatever producers add to these concoctions, it’s still alcohol, dietitians and medical professionals repeated to the papers covering these topics. With examples of wellness-aligned ingredient additions across expensive new beer, wine and spirits brands, a similar but separate Post piece points out that TTB bars marketers from making health claims. But “that doesn’t stop other brands from using potentially flimsy nutritional science to market…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2019
  • Volume 36
  • Issue # 6
At Beer Institute’s annual meeting earlier this week, president Jim McGreevy included alcohol policy among the issues the association is currently confronting. Two key themes, both linked to the 2020 revision of US Dietary Guidelines: 1) differentiating beer from liquor and wine; 2) pushing back on the increasingly prevalent messaging from public health that there is “no safe level” of alcohol consumption. There’s “no science” behind this notion, Jim asserted, and “we will deal with it,” he assured. Recall, one of the Dietary Guideline committee members, and the only one with a background in alcohol research, is Dr. Timothy Naimi, who is closely associated with the “group of activists” advancing the “no safe level” message. Specifically, Beer Institute aims to preserve the change in language achieved in the last round of Dietary Guideline revisions away from “standard drink,” and continue to differentiate beer from other alcohol beverages. Pint glasses at the meeting had engraved cut offs for 12 oz of beer at 5% ABV, 5 oz of wine at 12% ABV and 1.5 oz of spirits at 40% ABV. Another goal: preserve the specific guideline of 1 drink/day for women, 2/day for men, as opposed to any potential efforts to…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2019
  • Volume 36
  • Issue # 19
An online study of 150 adults in the UK found that less than 2% of them “referred to guidelines as informing their sense of too much alcohol.” What’s more, only 4% referred to long-term health “as contributing to their intuitive level of too much” alcohol, according to a report on the study from the University of Liverpool. The main findings were very disconcerting to the authors: “Our findings support other research in showing that people don’t use alcohol guidelines to guide their alcohol consumption. That matters” because raising knowledge and awareness of risks via media campaigns and labeling has been the main policy for prevention in England (and elsewhere). The lack of focus on long-term health risks to determine levels of “too much” shows a “disconnect between medical conceptions of risk and the experiences that people call on to gauge when to stop drinking.” Instead of long-term consequences, drinkers tended to “focus on short term risks of drinking too much” and “recognizing previous negative states” to decide how much is too much. This very intuitive finding also bothered the authors. So did the fact that “many people reported that approaching the point where they have drunk too much alcohol was…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2019
  • Volume 36
  • Issue # 17
As a number of states in US consider lowering the legal BAC for driving to 0.05, The Washington Times gave long-time restaurant lobbyist and anti-0.05 advocate Rick Berman an opportunity to lay out his key arguments against the policy. They are: Most drunk driving fatalities involve high BAC levels. “The latest federal data puts the average BAC of a drunk driver involved in a fatal crash…at 0.18.” A BAC of 0.05 “does not meaningfully hinder one’s ability to drive” and is “far less impairing than talking on a hands-free cellphone.” The alleged “deterrent effect” of lower BAC levels adopted in Europe are based on flawed studies. That’s especially true of an oft-cited meta-analysis of 37 studies by veteran researcher James Fell. None of those studies, Berman notes, used a control group, some only looked at lowering levels from 0.10 to 0.08 (not the effects of 0.05), others only looked at impacts on young drivers. Some were adopted at the same time as random roadside breath tests. “A 120-lb woman can reach 0.05 BAC with little more than a single drink.” More appropriate policy than 0.05, in Berman’s view, would be: 1) “more saturation and roving patrols that catch drunk drivers…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2019
  • Volume 36
  • Issue # 14
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 Beer and Beyond At The Half 2020

Mid-Year Review Webinar from Beer Marketer’s Insights
US Beer Industry Review at the Half presented by Benj Steinman with special guest
Gerry Khermouch 

on Non-Alc Opportunities for the Beer Industry
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
1pm Eastern Time
90-minutes including Q&A

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