Fentimans makes old fashioned lemonade that goes through a seven-day fermentation process leaving trace amounts of alcohol. Two pressure groups picked up on this and started a campaign against the drink after a schoolboy in Maine pointed out the alcohol content to his teacher.
The Maine Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse (MAPSA) and the Aroostook Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (ASPC) are both calling for the lemonade to be banned from sale to those under 21 and reclassified as imitation liquor.
MAPSA campaigner Melissa Boyd told BeverageDaily.com of her concern that the drink could make alcohol seem appealing and exciting to children.
Comparing the lemonade to candy cigarettes, Boyd said MAPSA wants to confirm that the Fentimans lemonade contains 0.5 per cent alcohol, and have the product put out of reach of children if this is the case.
It is not just the alcohol content that is being questioned. ASPC project director Clare Desrosiers drew attention to the shape of the glass bottle, claiming that it looks like a liquor bottle.
Fentimans denies that the drink is dangerous and says that it is legally classified as a soft drink, and just happens to contain small quantities of alcohol as a by-product like many other everyday consumable including bread and chewing gum.
But Fentimans is not complaining too vehemently. Its US operations have been inundated with inquiries about Victorian Lemonade with consumers from across the country asking where they can get hold of it.