Is Cheeky cheap?

The Herald reports:

An Eden Park group is urging Justice Minister Amy Adams to ban palm-sized sachets, which are being found scattered around the stadium grounds after big games.

An Auckland councillor representing the Eden Park Community Liaison Group is particularly worried that the sachets can be easily smuggled into events with booze restrictions, adding to the country’s already high rate of alcohol harm.

Despite widespread concern that came with their entrance into the market in 2013 – and police dismay at the time – the sachets are still available at some bottle stores for less than $2 each.

Councillor Cathy Casey, a member of the liaison group, said Eden Park management was worried at how many were being taken into the grounds at big events, despite liquor licences banning people bringing their own alcohol.

In light of the complaints, she bought some of the 25ml sachets and was alarmed to find that Cheeky products, flavoured in three varieties and containing around 0.4 standard drinks each, carried a relatively high alcohol concentration of 20 per cent.

Dr Casey was further worried that a powdered alcohol product branded as “Palcohol” could also soon be available in New Zealand, after just being approved for sale in the United States. On behalf of the group, she has written to Ms Adams asking her to intervene and ban the importation of alcohol sachets and powder.


No the Government should not ban a particular type of alcohol. Alcohol is alcohol and prohibition in the past has been a miserable failure.

Professor Doug Sellman, director of the National Addiction Centre, doubted banning the products would have a big impact on binge drinking but supported the call all the same.

Dr Sellman did not consider their low price a major factor but there was concern the sachets made alcohol more accessible, especially in public places where booze was either banned or restricted.

And people can pour vodka into lemonade. Will we ban vodka?

As for the so called low price, well is $2 for 0.4 of a stand drink cheap? Let’s compare. To have four standard drinks this way would cost you $20.

Four standard drinks is also:

  • 1 litre of 5% beer
  • 350 mls of 14% wine
  • 700 mls of 7% RTD
  • 140 mls of 37.5% spirits

So what is the cost from The Mill for each:

  • 1 litre of 5% beer – $4.40
  • 350 mls of 14% wine – $4.67
  • 700 mls of 7% RTD – $4.82
  • 140 mls of 37.5% spirits – $4.62
  • 250 mls of 20% Cheeky – $20

So these so called low cost Cheeky drinks are not a cheap source of alcohol. They are a massively over-priced rip off. They cost so much the average tight student will never ever get drunk on them. Public health advocates should be promoting them, not trying to ban them!

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