Powdered alcohol – commonly referred to as “palcohol” – is a product made using microencapsulation.

The powder alone is not designed for direct consumption, but once mixed with water, the powder creates a beverage. In March 2015, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the sale of Palcohol, the leading brand of powdered alcohol. Palcohol is available in a variety of flavors, like Cosmopolitan and Lemon drop, and also comes in the form of rum and vodka.

Although many consumers are excited for powdered alcohol to be a widespread commodity, some researchers are worried about abuse, misuse, and other detrimental affects from the product. Potency, portability, and delivery methods are among additional concerns. The use of powdered alcohol, without much research regarding side effects and physiologic dependence, has led the majority of states to ban the product.

As of May 2016, powdered alcohol has been outlawed in 31 US States and California is working to make the number 32. On its website, Palcohol argues that lawmakers are taking action against the product without performing necessary research.

“A proposed ban of powdered alcohol in other states is denying millions of responsible adults and hundreds of businesses a chance to use this legal, safe and revolutionary new product that has applications in medicine, energy, hospitality, the military, manufacturing, etc. as well as reducing the carbon footprint by being so much lighter to ship than liquid alcohol.”

If Palcohol, or other powdered alcohol brands, find a way to infiltrate the industry, each business will have to optimize data collection on- and off-premise in order to win market share and grow sales. Data collection, and corresponding methods, are increasingly vital in order to determine marketing, sales strategy, and related internal structure.

The debate around the usage, legalization, and sale of powdered alcohol remains a hot topic. As states work to determine individual policies, the excitement and discussion around Palcohol will continue.

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