|Posted:||February 17, 2023 10:45 AM|
|From:||Senator Mike Regan|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Ready-to-drink beverages (RTD) or canned cocktails saw over 43% growth in global consumption in 2020 and have quickly become one of the largest trends at the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) in recent years. While we are all familiar with the hard seltzer popularity, the TTB has approved thousands of RTD spirit labels. These prepackaged products are manufactured with liquor as their base alcohol. Liquor-based RTDs lead the spirits category in both market growth and consumer demand.
Since the base alcohol is liquor, Pennsylvania consumers can only purchase RTDs at our State Stores. Unfortunately, only limited products are currently being offered, and those sales account for less than 2% of shelf space in stores. As these products continue to grow, they are flooding into neighboring states, while Pennsylvania’s selection remains limited.
I will be introducing legislation, which will ensure an increase in consumer choice, while also providing access to these products at all of the places consumers currently shop for alcoholic beverages– state stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, beer distributors, and even their favorite local bar. This legislation will not harm the PLCB’s sales, it will simply expand the locations these products are available for purchase, while also opening additional avenues to import these products into PA.
This legislation will allow manufactures to distribute their RTDs either through the PLCB or through the existing three-tier system. As we are all aware, the current three-tier system has proved effective for the distribution of malt and brewed beverages, providing consumer choice, the collecting and remittance of taxes, as well as protecting public health.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation, which will not only lead to increased sales tax revenue, but will also expand customer convenience for our constituents.
Introduced as SB688