And a TikToker named Brittany Jade (@brittanyjade___) highlighted a brand that advertised its products as containing 0% alcohol despite containing trace levels. She says that she only discovered this information after digging through the website’s frequently asked questions section, but marketing materials for the brand allegedly claimed there was no alcohol whatsoever in its products.
She posted about this discovery in a now-viral TikTok video that’s accrued more than a million views as of Monday.
@brittanyjade___ That would happen. 🙈 but I talked to my sponsor & i know w/ this platform, I have great responsibility to people in recovery & I just needed to make sure anyone who saw the NA drink video earlier today was aware of this. It’s no one else’s fault but my own for not doing better research but I just couldn’t sleep without clearing this up. 🖤 No hate to this company… just their marketing strategy. It felt very misleading but that’s what you get for sliding down slippery slopes. Thank you to those of you who brought this to my attention right away. Once again, another lesson learned. 🥺 #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Brittany Jade
Jade writes in a text overlay in the video, “PSA Be careful because alcohol-free drinks that are 0% alcohol… can still actually contain alcohol.”
“I don’t understand how someone can advertise so bold about being alcohol-free, being 0% alcohol, but still actually contain alcohol,” Jade says in between tears in her clip.
A man seated next to her in the video says that he even scoured the can of the product in question and that there was no mention of even trace amounts of alcohol in the beverage.
The clip then transitions to the Instagram page of a brand called AF Drinks. On the page, the company states it has produced award-winning non-alcoholic beverages.
Jade then cuts to the company’s website, and points out text on the home page that greets visitors which reads, ” 0% alcohol.” As of this writing, the homepage text currently reads, “Award-winning non-alcoholic drinks.”
The TikTok user shows several examples of Google search results that all site the brand as selling beverages that contain 0% alcohol, or that they are alcohol-free drinks.
Jade said that she and her husband thought that this was “enough research” but upon further perusal of the brand’s website, they saw in a frequently asked questions section, that AF drinks do contain trace amounts of alcohol in their beverages.
The snippet she’s referring to reads, “AF is a nonalcoholic beverage, but like many beverages (eg. fruit juices, kombucha) is crafted from natural extracts and flavors, and may contain trace amounts of alcohol, but less than 0.5% alcohol-by-volume, as permitted by FDA guidelines.”
Jade calls the verbiage implemented “misleading” and “very confusing.”
“It’s such a small amount that it says it’s safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women but I think it’s just the fact that I wouldn’t have drank it if I knew it had this small trace amounts,” Jade says.
She explains how for individuals who recovering from alcohol addiction this seemingly miniscule fact could have a significant impact on their road to recovery.
“I feel really dumb but I’m also not going to beat myself up about it because I didn’t know,” Jade, who has mentioned on her TikTok page that she’s been sober for three years, says. “I just wanted to make sure that anyone who saw it knows that it does contain small traces of alcohol because I think that is very important for people in recovery to know.”
Jade says that non-alcoholic drinks are a “slippery slope for a reason” and urged folks to “always do their research “because 0% isn’t actually 0%.”
In a caption for the post, Jade added that she’s not gearing any “hate” towards the company, but as someone who is in the process of overcoming her alcohol addiction, she feels a responsibility towards others.
According to DrinkAware, folks who are in recovery for alcohol addiction are strongly advised against consuming alcohol-free beverages designed to mimic the flavor profiles of alcoholic drinks due to these trace levels.
One viewer said that it clearly states on the can that AF drinks contain less than 0.5% alcohol.
Another stated that there are other popular non-alcoholic beverages with similar alcohol levels, sharing, “Wondering if the 0.5% alcohol is the fermentation alcohol from the natural flavors fermenting and not like distilling. Similar to a kombucha.”
One user stated that a member of their family had a similar experience to Jade’s.
“This recently happened to a sober family member of mine,” they wrote. “WE COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. The marketing is crazzzzyyyyyy.”
Someone else urged Jade not to be too hard on herself, saying that just because she consumed one of these beverages, doesn’t mean that she sabotaged her recovery process.
“There is that same amount or more in kambucha it doesn’t mean you slipped on recovery,” they shared. “There is also alcohol in vanilla!”
The Daily Dot has reached out to AF drinks and Jade via email for further comment.