From Friday, some Brutal Fruit flavours have to be labelled as a beer
- SA Breweries must, from Friday, change labels that marketed some – but not all – of its Brutal Fruit line as a fruit drink.
- Competitor Distell – which sells alcoholic fruit drinks has succeeded in a legal complaint that Brutal Fruit is actually a beer.
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SA Breweries, has until Friday, December 18 to change the labelling on two of its Brutal Fruit Spritzer beverages, to stop claiming them as alcoholic fruit drinks, because they are, in fact, ales.
An order from the Cape Town high court, following complaints by competitor Distell, is due to force the change, with SAB prohibited from distributing, marketing, advertising and selling the Brutal Fruit Spritzer and Brutal Fruit Strawberry Rouge Spritzer using the labelling describing the beverages as ‘alcoholic fruit blend’ drinks.
Advertising on television, radio, billboards, in-store promotions and other platforms must be withdrawn.
However, the court said the order does not apply to Brutal Fruit Apple, which is subject to complaint proceedings with the Advertising Regulatory Board.
Rival Distell, which owns the Savanna and Bernini brands, earlier in the year lodged a complaint with the advertising regulator about the wording used on the Brutal Fruit Spritzer product, saying it was misleading consumers. It said the product was described as an "alcoholic fruit blend", when it is a maize based ale.
Distell had lamented that SAB’s use of the "alcoholic fruit blend" phrase was too close to "alcoholic fruit beverage", which legally can only be produced by the alcoholic fermentation of fruit juice.
Distell said it was pleased with the court’s backing of its position.
“These Brutal Fruit ready-to-drink products have been promoted in a way that is misleading consumers. The company believes in strong and healthy competition to support consumer choice, balanced with transparency about what’s inside their drink to build trust and ultimately brand equity,” Distell said.
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