Disney Caves To Alarmists, Pulls Frozen Sparkling Grape Juice

If your eight-year-old wants to feel like a grown-up and be able to toast the new year with you this week, Disney might object. The company is stopping production on an adorable Frozen-licensed sparkling grape juice in April 2016 because an alcohol awareness group in the U.K. said that it would contribute to underage drinking.

Here’s the product description from U.K. store Home Bargains:

Little princes and princesses across the land who want to be more sophisticated can now have a grown-up alternative to juice and pop at parties. The Disney Frozen Non-Alcoholic Party Drink is a delicious sparkling white grape fruit drink which would be perfect at birthdays, family events, BBQs or after a long day building snowmen with Olaf. With a champagne style cork pop, your little one is sure to feel part of every celebration.

An activist from the group in question, Alcohol Concern, told Mashable that the packaging and marketing normalizes alcohol, and said that “Too often alcohol is sold as if it was a normal commodity and alcohol-like products are used to entice people into the world of alcohol.”

And, yeah, the product description definitely does make it seem like it’s normal for adults to drink alcohol (isn’t it?), and like it’s normal for kids to want to mimic the adults around them (don’t they?). But doesn’t it seem sort of alarmist to object to giving kids a carbonated juice beverage that’s clearly marked and marketed as non-alcoholic? Is sparkling grape juice really a gateway drug to underage drinking?

Of course, I have no children, so perhaps I’m in no position to comment.  I had Welch’s sparkling when I was a kid and managed not to drink until my mid-twenties. I suspect many people could say the same, and that perhaps Alcohol Concern is targeting this particular product instead of working on maybe more meaningful projects because they figured that attacking Disney, especially successfully, is bound to get press for their organization (which, hello, it did). But it’s a shame that concern over underage drinking – a real bonafide genuine problem – is being given this sort of petty, alarmist image for it.

[h/t Time]
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