The introduction of a special surcharge on alcopops in August 2004 has resulted in a dramatic decline in their sales, according to a report in the German weekly magazine, Der Spiegel.

A survey carried out by the market research group Information Resources revealed that sales of these spirits-based ready-to-drink (RTD) brands in the grocery channel in January and February were down by 65% in comparison with the same period in 2004.

Data from ACNielsen supports this survey, showing a 60% decline in the period July to December 2004, against the same period in 2003.

However, ACNielsen also reports that while sales of the spirits-based RTDs fell, sales of beer-based RTDs have risen.