Sober Influencer Promotes Non-Alcoholic Drink — Only to Discover It Contains Alcohol

Non-alcoholic drinks usually contain some alcohol. So why do they get away with advertising them as non-alcoholic? This TikToker has questions.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jun. 6 2023, Published 6:00 p.m. ET

People in recovery have to work on their sobriety every day. Staying clean is a full-time job but, when done right, is rewarding and fulfilling. Addicts and alcoholics will be able to give themselves the kind of life they could only dream of while still using. Unfortunately, there is a lot of effort needed to continue to walk that path. For example, alcoholics have to be on the lookout for products that contain alcohol.

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Things like vanilla extract and mouthwash probably spring to mind, but what about beverages that advertise themselves as non-alcoholic? Is that truly the case? Evidently non-alcoholic drinks do contain alcohol, even if their packaging says 0 percent. A sober TikToker made this discovery the hard way and took to social media to warn other folks in recovery.

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Sadly, non-alcoholic drinks do contain alcohol.

TikTok user @brittanyjade_ _ _ was promoting a non-alcoholic beverage on her massive social media platform before discovering she was inadvertently misleading her fans. "I don't understand how someone can advertise so bold about being alcohol-free, there being zero percent alcohol, but still actually contain alcohol," she said in a video about the brand AF Drinks. Her husband chimed in and added there was nothing on the packaging. They were both very thorough.

In her video, Brittany showed a screenshot of AF Drinks' Instagram page, which had "0% alcohol, 100% you" included in its Instagram bio. As of the time of this writing, the bio has been updated to "Award-winning, non-alcoholic cocktails with Afterglow," with a trademark symbol by Afterglow.

Brittany's video also showed the company's website, which had similar messaging. But now, the website reads "award-winning non-alcoholic drinks. Live life undiluted."

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Brittany's video then showed part of AF Drinks's FAQ, where the company stated about its alcohol content: "Our drinks are non-alcoholic with only trace amounts of alcohol below 0.5 percent. Don't worry, you won't get drunk off them."

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Once again, someone at the company must have seen Brittany's TikTok, as the answer has since changed. It now reads: "AF is a non-alcoholic 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." This is decidedly more professional.

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Brittany wanted to make sure the recovery community was aware of the sneaky alcohol content.

"I talked with my sponsor and I know with this platform, I have a great responsibility to people in recovery," she wrote in a caption beneath the TikTok. She was worried about people in the recovery community who saw a previous TikTok promoting AF Drinks as having 0 percent alcohol. Brittany also acknowledges this is a slippery slope. But we have to ask, why drink a non-alcoholic beverage at all?

The work she put in to officially confirm the beverage is without alcohol (except it wasn't) doesn't feel worth it when there are plenty of alcohol-free beverages in the world. Addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful. It doesn't take much for it to rear its life-destroying head. There are definitely people in the world who genuinely enjoy the taste of alcoholic beverages, but not having access to that taste is the price one pays for a sober life. And frankly, that's a small price considering what could wait on the other side of a relapse.

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