Cow’s milk intolerants will no doubt already be aware of Laverstoke Park thanks to their tasty buffalo milk products (see our article here ); Formula 1 enthusiasts will be aware of Laverstoke Park as the organic farm now run by Jody Scheckter, 1979 World Drivers’ Champion; beer drinkers may be aware of Laverstoke Park as they may have been drinking their ale and lager since 2007 – 170,000 bottles of it to be exact.
Now, however, the Portman Group, industry funded watchdog overseeing the virtue-ess-ness of the alcohol trade, is requiring Laverstoke Park to change their branding on their ale and lager as they believe that the current design ‘would be likely to appeal to younger children’. This particular branding, the Mr Laverstoke figure which was drawn by one of Scheckter’s sons, is used across all of their products, from their buffalo milk to their beer, so changing it would be a massive and expensive job – even if the grounds for doing so existed.
But do they? A child to whom such a drawing might appeal will be far too young to be drinking any alcohol, let alone trying to buy it for themselves at all. Any child old enough to attempt to actually buy the beer, would not, as Scheckter points out, wish to be seen dead buying such an un-cool looking bottle! In the five years that they have been selling it – to major multiples as well as local punters – there has never been a single complaint about the branding or any suggestions that it might be targeted at under 18s.
So what are the Portman Group on about? Or is this just another instance of the big guys having a go at the small, independent operator? For a much more detailed investigation see this article in the Grocer.