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November 2002
Fast-Growing Malternatives Threaten Grape Expectations
by Paul Franson
While wine companies focus on their competition, they typically look at other wine companies, but many may be overlooking a serious threat to the industry's future growth. The fastest growing category of alcoholic beverages by far is so-called malternatives or RTD's (Ready to drink), malt-based, mostly carbonated beverages aimed at young drinkers; they're called alcopops pejoratively by critics. The drinks, which have about the same alcohol level as beer, take advantage of tax breaks for low-alc...
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