Daily Archives: 26/04/2014

Palcohol anyone?

This story broke over the Easter week-end and I had to check the date of the article to make sure it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke.  But no, this is genuine.

A new brand of powdered alcohol – designed to be mixed into a drink or sprinkled over food – has been signed off by the US government and will be available in autumn of this year

Yep you read that right.

The article continues with some of the marketing content taken from the companies website prior to the approval which reads that this product is seen as a solution to the increasing cost of liquid alcohol.

“What’s worse than going to a concert, sporting event, etc. and having to pay $10, $15, $20 for a mixed drink with tax and tip. Are you kidding me?! Take Palcohol into the venue and enjoy a mixed drink for a fraction of the cost,” the product’s promotional material read.

The site also suggested that users add Palcohol to their food: “Sprinkle Palcohol on almost any dish and give it an extra kick. Some of our favourites are the Kamikaze in guacamole, Rum on a BBQ sandwich, Cosmo on a salad and Vodka on eggs in the morning to start your day off right. Experiment.

So you can add powdered vodka to your breakfast, rum to your lunch and a different spirit on your dinner!  Perfect for the drinker who worries about whether they have a problem because they need a drink first thing in the morning.  Now they don’t because they aren’t technically drinking it!

The Guardian chimed in on Monday with their coverage of the story here

A portable solution for busy boozers who want to drink while going about their daily activities

I don’t see any problem with this idea at all do you?  Seriously words fail me ……….

Let’s play the ‘how badly could this play out?’ game – I’ll start.  Teens thinking this is a really cool way to make school more fun and adding it to their water bottles.

Edited to add: Thanks to Sharon who pointed out that the label approval has been rescinded.  I found this news piece here but within the piece this is stated:

The Palcohol website comments on the rescinding of the label approval: “[T]here seemed to be a discrepancy on our fill level, how much powder is in the bag. There was a mutual agreement for us to surrender the labels.”

It continues, “This doesn’t mean that Palcohol isn’t approved. It just means that these labels aren’t approved. We will re-submit labels.”

Further on in the piece was this line that still bothers me:

No matter that Federal approval was reeled in. The genie is out of the bottle,” says Ben Agger, director of the Center for Theory in the sociology department at the University of Texas at Arlington. “Clearly, we are heading rapidly toward a convenience-store approach to getting high and getting wasted,” says Dr. Agger, whose made his comments via e-mail.

The genie is indeed out of the bottle (excuse the pun!) and I guess we just have to watch this space and hope the US govt sticks to its word.

Edited to add 5th May 2016:

Eater (USA) – Powdered Alcohol Preemptively Banned in 31 States
Powdered alcohol, arguably a very bad idea, has been banned in a majority of U.S. states before ever even hitting the market. A press release from industry watchdog group Alcohol Justice says “31 states have now legislated or regulated complete bans on powdered alcohol.”