According to the terms of their settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the makers of Four Loko will have to label cans of their potent product with more alcohol information and make the lids resealable.
The Associated Press reports that Chicago's Phusion Projects — the company behind the controversial concoction — today agreed to the FTC's settlement terms in order to put a deceptive marketing dispute to bed. The FTC brought the suit against Four Loko's brewmasters because of complaints that they mislead buyers about the alcohol content in each of their fruity flavors. FTC regulators say Phusion has marketed Four Loko as the equivalent of about two 12-ounce cans of regular beer, when really they pack the same as four to five beers. Such comparisons will now have to be prominently displayed on those colorful Four Loko cans in an "alcohol facts panel." Now consumers will know that going "ocho loko" (the level of intoxication achieved by drinking two Four Lokos) requires them to drink the equivalent of nearly ten beers. The standard pop-top lids are also slated to be replaced with resealable openings. The FTC argues that since cans of Four Loko contain more than two servings of alcohol, the packaging shouldn't suggest that they're meant to be consumed in one sitting. The changes will make Four Loko quite a different product than it was three years ago, when caffeine was still a prominent ingredient and trend pieces were capturing the moral panic over this "blackout in a can."