Hooper's Hooch

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Hooper's Hooch (often simply referred to as Hooch) is an alcopop that was most popular during the mid-1990s. The name Hoopers refers to William Hooper, inventor of the hot water bottle and manufacturer of lemonade in the 1840s whose trademark was owned by Burton-on-Trent-based brewer Bass.[1] Launched in Britain in 1995 by Bass as an alcoholic lemonade, it was initially very popular leading to the development of orange- and blackcurrant-flavoured versions.[1][2]

At its peak, 2.5 million bottles of Hooper's Hooch were sold each week in Britain, and it was the market leader for alcopops with up to 70% of the market.[3][4][5] However, alcopops became less popular, and the drink was discontinued in the UK in 2003,[3] being reintroduced in 2012 in a lower alcohol formulation. The drink continued to be sold in the US by United States Beverage in Hard Lemonade, Hard Orange, Hard Berry and ICE (citrus) flavours.[6]

Hooper's Hooch is mostly notable for being one of the first alcopops. Its success began an industry-wide trend of incorporating lighter, less calorific drinks with alcohol equal to the amount found in a standard beer or glass of wine. As a result products such as Bacardi Breezer and Mike's Hard Lemonade are, depending on location, commonly found in pubs and bars today.

Creation[edit]

The packaging for Hoopers Hooch was created by KLP Scotland, the marketing and packaging agency for the Bass Brewery.[citation needed]

Criticism[edit]

At the time, along with other alcopops, the drink received criticism for encouraging underage drinking by appealing to children due to its sweet taste and using cartoon-like advertising.[2][3][7][8] With an ABV of 5.0% it was actually stronger than most lagers.[9][6] In 1996 an advertising campaign for Hooch was criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for appealing to underage drinkers.[10] In 1997 the drink was relaunched with an 'unambiguously adult look' and a reduced sugar content to tackle that criticism, while Co-Op Supermarkets, Iceland, J D Wetherspoon and Whitbread stopped selling alcopops.[11][12]

Re-introduction[edit]

Hooch was reintroduced to consumers in the United Kingdom in July 2012 following a nine-year absence with the new marketing slogan "refreshment with bite!".[9] Its bite, however had been reduced from its original nineties formulation with the new version having an ABV of 4.0%.[13][6] It is sold in the UK by Global Brands Ltd and in Asia by Resolute International Marketing BV under licence from Hooch owner Molson Coors.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bass finds the proof is in the lemons". The Independent. London. 
  2. ^ a b Jay Rayner. "On the streets of binge Britain". The Observer. 
  3. ^ a b c Duffy, Jonathan (9 November 2005). "Magazine | What happened to alcopops?". BBC News. 
  4. ^ Mitchells & Butlers : Media Centre : News and reports
  5. ^ "Alcopop adds fizz to Bass results". The Independent. London. 
  6. ^ a b c http://www.just-drinks.com/news/global-brands-relaunches-hooch-alcoholic-lemon-brew_id107502.aspx
  7. ^ "A brew to get bothered about?". The Independent. London. 
  8. ^ "Brewers act to dilute 'soft' drinks criticism". The Independent. London. 
  9. ^ a b "Hooch, the 1990s alcopop, returns to bars". The Daily Telegraph. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Alcoholic lemonade posters breach code". The Independent. London. 
  11. ^ "Bass redesigns for adult Hooch – Brand Republic News". Brandrepublic.com. 11 September 1997. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Brewers take a fresh look at the alcopops market". The Independent. London. 
  13. ^ a b "Retro alcopop Hooch makes a comeback". Thedrinksbusiness.com. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2013.