I have been practicing as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor for about 5 years now. Part of working in this field, especially when I tell people out in the world that I specialize in addiction issues, is that everyone talks to me about alcohol and drugs. Sometimes the things I learn are new…especially when it comes to new evolutions in the sale and marketing of alcohol. As a kid, I wasn’t allowed to watch TV, so I don’t have the same immunity to advertising that many of my peers do…I tend to have a default (somewhat naive?) outsider stance when it comes to “sh*t corporations say.”
My disclaimer here is that my perspective will likely NOT be yours, and I am not trying to persuade you to think like I do about the things that seem “out there” to me. My intent is to invite you to think for yourself and develop your own 3rd eye for trends, especially when it comes to things that make big money for everyone but the end user. In my humble opinion, alcohol is one of those products…it will always sell, people will always buy, and it would appear that the only thing that changes is how much and how it is marketed to different groups.
Evidently, gone are the days when drinking liquor on the go is a behavior reserved (in stigma at least) for late-stage alcoholics! A few years ago, we were introduced to Pocket Shots, which the San Jose based manufacturer describes as “The Flask on the Fly!” on their website. Watch the video…its fabulous.
A trip to Napa last year introduced me to the wine pouch (certainly not a new idea…unless Cascade Designs plans to copyright the term wineskin).
Next evolution was mentioned in passing by a quirky member of my grief and loss group at the hospice agency. On her way out last Thursday after group, my client (who is fascinated by my “other” type of clients) told me incredulously that she had stopped at a liquor store and was surprised to find vodka in environmentally safe, stainless steel water bottles. She described the ingenious of the manufacturers in making the label peel-off, the various sizes available for sale, and how affordable they were. It didn’t take much digging (ok, no one researchers anymore, I just went to my homepage) before I found Kru 82 vodka…and damn if my LOL (Little Old Lady) client wasn’t spot on.
In my opinion, this trend of “drinking on the go is for rich folks” is a new one. I can recall as late as 2009 working with the unhoused in Palo Alto and hearing passersby snicker and whisper under their breath when they saw my AOD clients drinking out of homemade containers on the streets. I’m not sure what to make of the sale of vodka-filled water bottles…I’m used to my clients joking this when I tell them they can only bring “clear liquids” to my groups. What do you think?