As a small child and teenager, I always thought the best part of every family festivity was the case of Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider that was always kept around for the children and teetotalers. We could put it in Champagne flutes and feel grown-up and festive, and on top of all that, sparkling cider is good. Bubbles make everything better. As far as kids are concerned, a Frozen connection also makes everything better, but Disney has announced that it would be putting an end to a Frozen-themed sparkling grape juice amid concerns that Elsa and Anna were encouraging kids to get boozed up.
According to The Daily Meal, the Frozen-themed sparkling grape juice is advertised as a “non-alcoholic party drink” at a British chain called Home Bargains. It comes in a Champagne bottle-shaped bottle decorated with pictures of Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff, and it has a stopper designed to give a “Champagne-style cork pop,” so yes, it’s designed to be vaguely Champagne-esque, but it’s a nonalcoholic sparkling juice just like Martinelli’s. In fact it looks a whole lot less like Champagne than Martinelli’s does, because Martinelli’s bottle looks like an actual Champagne bottle, and the Frozen Non-Alcoholic Party Drink is covered in big pictures of Disney cartoon characters.
But despite the fact that the product contains no alcohol and is marked as an alcohol-free sparkling juice for kids, some opponents were furious at a product they said advertised alcohol consumption to kids.
”Our children are already growing up surrounded by positive messages about drinking and this Disney product just adds to the perception that drinking is normal and risk-free,” said Alison Douglas, the chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland.
Sparkling grape juice and sparkling apple cider are delicious! Does Martinelli’s taste as good if it is not served in a Champagne flute? Probably, but it’s still more fun to drink it that way. I’m a grown-up with access to all the pink Champagne I want (I do have both a bathtub and a credit card, which technically counts as “access”) and I still think I might like to try that sparkling grape juice, just because it sounds pretty tasty.
Unfortunately for kids and Disney-loving teetotalers, Disney said in a statement that it would actually be acquiescing to the opponents’ demands in this case. The Frozen sparkling juice–and presumably the other Disney Princess-branded sparkling juice–will cease distribution in April, and going forward the company says it will no longer license such products.
”As we set very high standards for the quality of products bearing the Disney name and characters, we have informed the manufacturer that we will no longer license Disney images to a product that is packaged to look like alcohol,” Disney said.