By Will Hogan
A worrying trend is arising in Australia’s drinking culture with the increasing popularity of alcopops disguised in soft drink packaging. The beverage ‘Little Fat Lamb’ which comes in both ginger beer and apple cider flavour is fast becoming the new drink of choice amongst the youth of today due to its high alcohol percentage and low cost.
The beverage which is only sold in selected independent liquor stores contains 8% alcohol or 7.9 standard drinks and comes in a 1.25l plastic bottle. A Little Fat Lamb costs between $8 and $10 and is becoming a sort after product amongst young people aged 18-30 due to the high alcohol content and low potency taste.
Consumer of the beverage Angus Nicholson, 20, says the ‘ginger bubbly’ flavour tastes and looks almost identically to soft drink.
“You can’t really taste the difference between this and regular ginger beer.”
“The popularity of the drink has risen so much, it has been tough to find it in some stores.”
Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) Chief Executive Michael Thorn believes Little Fat Lamb should be off the shelves however due to the self-regulated alcohol advertising codes, manufacturers can do as they please.
“The alcohol industry has had plenty of time to get its house in order, but time and time again, the alcohol industry demonstrates that it is simply not capable or willing to enforce a stringent advertising and marketing code.”
Concerned parent Julie Field believes more should be done to curb the rising popularity of the beverage.
“I really believe there should be changes to alcohol advertising, the product is directly marketing to young children and nothing can be done about it.”
“There is all this talk of a tax on cask wine, I think this sort of product should be made more expensive too.”
Little Fat Lamb, which is manufactured by Fluid Beverages Pty Ltd were unavailable for comment on the packaging and recent sales of the product however have already changed their packaging once before due to a complaint in April, 2014.
A complaint through the Alcohol Advertising Review Board determined the original packaging of the Hard Cider flavour (pictured above) was likened too much to soft drink and that the cartoon labels of a lamb could spell confusion amongst young children. The decision resulted in Fluid Beverages altering it’s cartoon labelling but were allowed to keep the 1.25l plastic packaging even with the raised concerns from the panel.