Proliferation of ‘healthy’ alcohol products in Australia: implications for policy
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Objectives: The Australian alcohol industry has observed that increased health consciousness among consumers is a threat to industry revenue, but also an opportunity for innovation and growth within the sector. Methods: This paper examines how the alcohol industry has responded to a perceived increase in health consciousness among consumers, considers policy implications and provides recommendations to address supposedly healthier alcohol products. We collected examples of new product developments and monitored alcohol industry publications for information on key trends and comments from alcohol company executives to inform the paper. Results: We found that existing regulations do not appear to be sufficient to adequately restrict health-related claims made by alcohol marketers and producers, as alcohol products continue to be advertised in association with health. Research shows that this can have significant implications for the way consumers view these products. Lessons learnt: Restrictions on health-related claims should form part of broader reforms to alcohol marketing that should include strong, independent, legislated controls.
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