When binge drinking favorite, Four Loko entered the Canadian market, local, Quebecois beverage company, The Geloso Group decided to compete with their own sweetened alcohol beverage. They called it “FCKDUP.” Not surprisingly, this decision was a bad idea. Following public outcry and a teenage death, the company is now pulling FCKDUP from shelves.
“I think it was a mistake to enter this category to compete with Four Loko. In fact, the Four Loko category should not even exist,” said Aldo Geloso, co-president of the Geloso Group in a prepared statement. “Therefore, tonight I am announcing that the Geloso Group will take the necessary steps with its internal teams, retailers and the entire industry to exit this category as quickly as possible. I have ordered my employees to cease production of the FCKDUP drink immediately.”
The move follows the discovery of 14-year-old Athena Gervais’ body in a Laval, Quebec stream. Police received reports that the teen was drinking stolen cans of FCKDUP prior to her death.
Canadian convenience store chain, Couche-Tard subsequently decided to pull all sweetened alcohol beverages from their shelves. Sen. Andre Pratte called on Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor to investigate the entire beverage category. A spokesman for Health Canada, Eric Morrissette released a brief statement noting, “Health Canada is already working with the government of Quebec to address this issue.”
According to Geloso, the 400 person, family business decided to enter the drink category not because of profits, but because of Canuck pride. “Despite our initial reluctance, we decided to go ahead by introducing our own brand (FCKDUP) to compete with the American company that came here,” stated Geloso.
Four Look, a 11.9% ABV, drink marketed to the 25-and-under demographic continues to be sold in Canada. In an attempt to pivot the discussion to his competitor, Geloso called them out in his statement as well. “The local manufacturer who is preparing to reintroduce Four Loko on the market must, as we have, make the right decision and not go ahead with the production and distribution of this product,” he declared. “Retailers must also send a clear signal to Four Loko and its local manufacturer that their product is not welcome. Let’s be consistent.”