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Trendy New Alcoholic Drink Flying Off Mississippi Shelves

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 04 Nov 2010 11:19am | comments
A can of Four Loko purchased in Jackson

Mississippi regulates the sale of all alcohol in the state including a trendy new alcohol infused energy drink that is causing concern college campuses. M-P-B's Jeffrey Hess reports that the product surprisingly easy to find in Mississippi.

It's called Four Loko, and a single can is about as strong as two beers and has as much caffeine as a tall cup of coffee. At her busy convenience store in Jackson, Manager Geneva Morris has had trouble keeping the three flavors she offers, in stock.

“So we sell at least two cases a week. Sometimes Three cases a week on that watermelon,” Morris said.

At first she was only selling a few cans a week but the appeal has widened to a larger customer base.

“Right, but it is a woman's drink because it is a sweeter drink. But men and women are buying it now,” Morris explained.

Four Loko has drawn a lot of attention because it has put dozens binge drinking college students in the hospital, and has earned the nickname 'black out in a can'. But MS sells a half strength version that is available anywhere beer is sold. At the huge warehouse outside Jackson tax commission spokesperson Kathy Waterbury explains why.

“You cannot have a malt beverage product in Mississippi that has greater than 5% alcohol,” Waterbury said.

The Four Loko that is sold in Mississippi slides just under that mark. The state controls the sale of all alcoholic drinks, and it has been a very profitable business.

“All together the ABC put about 91 million dollars, 50 from profit and another 41 from taxes they collect on alcohol, into the state's general fund,” Waterbury said.

Waterbury doesn't know if the state will change the rules and start selling the higher alcohol version of Four Loko. Consumers looking for that extra alcoholic kick wouldn't have to go far, the high alcohol Four Loko, and other similar drinks, are for sale in Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama


A can of Four Loko purchased in Jackson



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