Zippers: Lunch Box Liquor

On April 22, 2002, the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) issued a press release alerting parents and communities about the possible hazards of "Zippers" gelatin shots. "Zippers," fruit-flavored gelatin cups, contain 12 percent alcohol, roughly the same amount of alcohol found in a glass of wine. The concern of public health groups is that "Zippers" may be enticing to underage drinkers who do not like the taste of beer or liquor; that grocery stores will not properly code the alcohol-laced gelatin making it easier for young people to buy; and that with their bright packaging and labeling the gelatin looks like the type of dessert packs eaten by thousands of children each day.

Pennsylvania Addresses "Zippers"
Contending that the "Zippers" gelatin shot manufacturer is targeting children in the packaging and promotion of its product, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) announced on May 1, 2002, that "Zippers" would not be sold in the state. PLCB Chairman, John E. Jones, stated "because these gelatin shots so closely resemble children’s snacks, they pose a significant health and safety risk to youngsters who may mistake them for their usual gelatin treat."

Action Opportunity
"Zippers" are currently being sold in at least 20 states (see list below). Follow Pennsylvania’s lead and express your concern about the inappropriateness of the packaging and promotion of this product in your state. Specifically:

  1. Confirm whether "Zippers" are sold in your state.
  2. Organize groups in your state to contact state liquor control boards to ask them to disallow sales or require new labeling and product packaging that doesn’t entice young people and are easily distinguishable from non-alcoholic gelatin snacks. Cite the Pennsylvania example mentioned above.

States that Currently Sell "Zippers"

Arizona • California • Colorado • Delaware • Florida

Georgia • Hawaii • Iowa • Illinois • Kansas

Kentucky • Maryland • Missouri • Nevada • New York

Ohio • Oklahoma • Tennessee • Texas • Virginia

See for information
on the liquor control board in your state.

May 6, 2002