ShotPak, a vodka drink packaged in sachets, has been pulled off shelves after alcohol industry body Portman Group found the drink could be mistaken for a soft drink and may appeal to children.
The regulator says that the sachets could also encourage rapid and excessive drinking.
The pre-mixed vodka drink is available in four flavours – apple sour, lemon drop, purple hooter and kamikaz – and is produced by Florida-based Beverage Pouch Group and imported into the UK by Chilling Rocks Beverages.
The Independent Complaints Panel, which judges complaints under the Portman Group Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks, says that the drink also breaches the Code for encouraging rapid drinking. The Panel decided the packaging overall incited consumers to drink them in one go.
Additionally, the Panel decided that the flavour names Purple Hooter and Lemon Drop would have particular appeal to under-18 year olds and that the name Kamikaze is associated with self-destruction, which could incite excessive drinking.
David Poley, Portman Group chief executive, says: “These drinks may be acceptable in the States but their marketing falls well short of the standards that UK producers have set themselves. Some of their names will be particularly popular in the playground. ‘Kamikaze’ is a blatant breach of our Code for its association with bravado and danger. These drinks do not spell out their alcoholic content and the images of fruit add to the confusion over what is in them. They cannot be easily re-sealed and their soft packaging makes it hard to stand them up. That’s why the Panel decided that this packaging is encouraging consumers to drink rapidly.”