Alcoholic drinks pouches sold under the ShotPak brand are to be removed from sale in the UK because they are likely to encourage underage and excessive drinking.

The decision to pull ShotPak sachets from shelves was announced today (13 October) by industry self-regulatory body the Portman Group.

It said that it had instructed retailers to cease sales of the pre-mixed drinks, which come from the US and are mostly marketed as STR8UP in the UK, following a complaint by Labour MP Sally Keeble.

The move comes 24 hours before the end of a government consultation period on alcohol strategy. just-drinks understands from several senior industry sources that ministers are looking to tighten the rules on promotions and selling of drinks.

ShotPak sachets are produced by the US-based Beverage Pouch Group and imported into the UK by Chilling Rocks Beverages. They come in vodka, rum, whisky and Tequila versions, with a choice of four flavours: Apple Sour, Lemon Drop, Purple Hooter and Kamikaze.

David Poley, Portman Group CEO, said: "These drinks may be acceptable in the [United] States but their marketing falls well short of the standards that UK producers have set themselves.  Some of their names will be particularly popular in the playground."

Portman's Independent Complaints Panel, under pressure from the government to show it can get tough on drinks marketing and promotions, said that the sachets could be mistaken for soft drinks.