Big Brother goes sober

Big Brother contestants had a chance to sample products from The Alcohol-Free Shop when we became one of the show’s suppliers.

Tea-total contestant Spiral inspired Big Brother bosses to bring in treats from The Alcohol-Free Shop. We were happy to provide a selection of wines and some of our luxury hampers including our popular Brighton Bubbly, chocolates and toiletries.

Spiral had rejected boozy treats traditionally used to reward housemates for completing tasks and had been missing out on the ‘mission-complete’ parties.

We supplied the Channel 4 show with three wicker hampers, containing our Brighton Bubbly sparkling white wine, luxury soaps, beauty products and hand-made luxury truffles, as well as a case of mixed alcohol-free wines so Spiral could enjoy some of the luxuries he had otherwise had to by pass. We are sure the friendly Dublin DJ shared some of the delicious luxury truffles, wines and pamper products to prevent his booze-loving competitors losing out when the housemates discovered how good they were.

John Risby, from The Alcohol-Free Shop, says: “We’re delighted to have supplied Big Brother with some of our alcohol-free products. I know Spiral is tea-total and I hope he enjoyed the wines – especially the chilled whites – but I’m also hopeful the other housemates have found that you can still have fun without the alcohol.”

Politicians choose alternative to booze

Alcohol-free wine is on a town hall’s menu after politicians voted to practise what they preach.

Manchester City Council has ratified a decision by its Social Strategy Committee to encourage council caterers to include alcohol-free wines and beers at functions and events.

Members attending the latest full council meeting then had the chance to choose wines from The Alcohol-Free Shop alongside their regular tipple at the monthly council lunch.

The move is the latest in a series of initiatives by the council to tackle the city’s binge drinking culture that has been blamed for a rise in violence and booze-related illnesses.

The decision follows a presentation to the Social Strategy Committee, which develops policy on social issues such as alcohol and smoking, by The Alcohol-Free Shop that launched in Manchester in May.

The Alcohol-Free Shop is working with health promotion and crime prevention agencies to help deliver messages on sensible drinking and drink driving and campaigning for a change in the law on alcohol-free classification.

Committee chairman Pat Karney referred to the aggressive marketing strategies adopted by supermarket chains in relation to the promotion of alcohol during the FIFA World Cup.

Cllr Karney said this perpetuated the spurious link between alcohol and sport, and he drew the committee’s attention to the corresponding increase in drink-fuelled violence during the competition.

The council also agreed to support representations to the Government on adopting European policy in classifying drinks as alcohol free.

Across Europe drinks containing 0.5% alcohol or less as labelled ‘alcohol free’ whereas in the UK they are classed as ‘de-alcoholised’.

John Risby at The Alcohol-Free Shop welcomed the council’s support for our campaign to win a change in Government policy towards labelling drinks that have had the alcohol removed.

John says: “It’s easier in Europe to promote alcohol-free wines and beers because of the rules on classification. There are many more alcohol-free beers and wines available in Europe than in the UK and these are increasingly popular on the continent. We believe this is largely down to the rules on classification. The classification rules in the UK complicate the issue, confuse the consumer and restrict the market so there is less choice. We welcome the council’s support on this issue and will be lobbying MPs to take up this issue with the relevant government departments.”