Sen. Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

SPRINGFIELD – The rise of co-branded alcoholic beverages – like Hard Mountain Dew and Spiked Sunny-D – has piqued the interest of children. Whether the marketing is intentional or not, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford is working to put a stop to the issue by restricting the location certain alcohol items can be displayed and sold.

"We are taking steps to underscore our commitment to safeguarding the well-being of our youth," said Lightford (D-Maywood). "By limiting the proximity of co-branded alcoholic beverages to items targeting children, we aim to diminish the potential influence of alcohol-related marketing on impressionable minds."

Co-branded alcoholic beverages contain the same or similar brand name, logo or packaging as a non-alcoholic beverage. Senate Bill 2625 would prohibit stores over 2,500 square feet – which primarily is anything bigger than a convenience store – from displaying co-branded alcoholic beverages immediately adjacent to soft drinks, fruit juices, bottled water, candy, or snack foods portraying cartoons or child-oriented images.

Establishments that are smaller would be required to either not display co-branded alcoholic beverages immediately adjacent to non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, or equip displays of co-branded beverages with clearly visible signage stating that the product is alcoholic.

“When a child sees a brand they’re familiar with and love, chances are they’re going to grab for it,” said Lightford. “They don’t have the wherewithal to know that what they see in front of them isn’t what they think it is. It’s on us to ensure children’s safety and well-being.”

Senate Bill 2625 passed the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday and heads to the full Senate for further consideration.