New Poll Finds Alabamians Overwhelmingly Support Spirits-Based Canned Cocktails Being Sold Alongside Beer and Wine
The Alabamians Ready for Convenience Coalition (ARCC) today announced a new survey conducted by McLaughlin & Associates that found nearly two-thirds (63%) of Alabamians support allowing licensed retailers to sell spirits ready-to-drink cocktails at the same locations as beer, wine and malt-based canned cocktails. Support climbed to three-quarters (74%) as they learned more about the issue and the similar alcohol content of the RTD beverages.
“In today’s polarized political landscape, it’s rare to find issues that enjoy bipartisan support,” said Jim McLaughlin, president of McLaughlin & Associates. “In Alabama, there is consistent and robust support for sensible sales policies, with 61% of Republicans, 73% of Democrats and 61% of Independents endorsing a policy to allow spirits RTDs to be sold alongside beer and wine.”
The average alcohol-by-volume (ABV) of both beer and spirits-based canned cocktails is between 6-10%. Under current Alabama law, beer is allowed to be sold in grocery and convenience stores along with wine and malt-based canned cocktails, but spirits-based canned cocktails are required to be sold at a liquor store despite having the same or similar alcohol content.
ARCC is made up of the Alabama Grocers Association, the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association, the Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Diageo, United-Johnson Brothers of Alabama and Gulf Distributing Holdings.
“Grocers hear from customers every day about their desire to easily purchase spirits-based ready-to-drink cocktails,” said Ellie Taylor, president and CEO of the Alabama Grocers Association. “Our industry has a proven track record of selling beverage alcohol in a responsible way, following all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.”
ARCC is focused on increasing consumer convenience by advocating for legislation to allow spirits RTDs to be sold where beer and wine are sold.
“Alabamians understand that allowing ready-to-drink cocktails to be sold in the same retail locations as beer and wine is long overdue,” said Mindy Hanan, president and CEO of the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association. “We are eager to modernize these Prohibition Era liquor laws and offer more convenience and choice to consumers. The Alabama Legislature needs to support legislation aligning with what Alabama voters want – fair and sensible policy for ready-to-drink cocktails.”
Adult consumers interested in supporting the effort to make spirits-based canned cocktails available in retail outlets where beer and wine are available for purchase can sign up at Ready4Convenience.com.
“Having spirits ready-to-drink beverages available in convenience stores provides Alabama’s adult consumers with the products they desire in a convenient and responsible way,” said Bart Fletcher, president of the Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama. “It’s time Alabama joined our neighboring states in making these products available in locations consumers prefer.”
Alabama Grocers Association
The Alabama Grocers Association is a state trade association representing the grocery retail industry since 1990. With more than 100 retail members operating over 750 stores statewide, as well as over 210 manufacturers, brokers, wholesalers and other members, the AGA is the voice of the industry in the state of Alabama. The food retail industry in Alabama provides over half a million jobs with over $2.5 billion in annual wages paid. Grocers pay over $1.18 billion in state taxes and have a total economic impact on the state’s economy of over $12.1 billion. For more information, visit www.alabamagrocers.org.
Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association
The Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Association (ARHA) serves as the advocate and indispensable resource for the restaurant, lodging and tourism industries in Alabama. As a leading business association, the ARHA represents the state’s $16 billion industry, which encompasses more than 10,000 locations and a workforce of over 225,000 employees. The association is proud to protect, advance, and educate a growing industry of opportunity. For more information, visit www.arhaonline.com.
McLaughlin & Associates
McLaughlin & Associates is a national survey research and strategic services company whose personnel have played a key role in assisting Donald Trump, former Governor Bob Riley, Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth, Congressman Mike Rogers, and more.
The Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama
The Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama (P&CMA) is the statewide trade association representing Alabama’s wholesale and retail petroleum distributors and retail convenience store operators. Originally formed in 1949 as the Alabama Petroleum Marketers Association, P&CMA’s membership is made up of more than 200 active member companies who collectively own, operate and/or supply more than 3,000 retail locations across the state. Our industry employs more than 59,000 Alabamians, conducts more than 3.7 million transactions per day, sells more than 4.4 billion gallons of gasoline annually and collects more than $4 billion annually in tax revenues for governmental entities. For more information, visit www.pcmala.org.