Does Hello Kitty Wine Encourage Underage Drinking?

hello-kitty-wine-sm250Many parents struggle with the issue of alcohol and when to let their children have their first taste. Some parents believe that letting teenagers have a small glass of wine with dinner will help them develop a healthy attitude toward a potentially dangerous substance.  Others believe that parents who do that are playing with fire and sending the wrong message to their kids.

Then there are the parents who host drinking parties at their homes.  It’s illegal for sure.  But some believe that by encouraging underage drinking at home, they will prevent it from happening elsewhere.

Regardless of where you come down on the drinking debate, you probably agree that alcoholic beverages should not be marketed to children.  There’s just no reason to go there.  But some might argue that is exactly what Sanrio is doing by allowing their insanely popular Hello Kitty character to grace a collection of Italian wines.

The new Hello Kitty wine is being produced by Torti Tenimenti Castelrotto Italian winery and marketed in the U.S. by Innovation Spirits.  Drew Hibbert, CEO of Innovation Spirits, tells LA Weekly that while he wasn’t personally involved in the Hello Kitty licensing negotiations with Sanrio, he believes the move reflects the fact that Hello Kitty has crossed over from a children’s brand to one that is popular with both children and adults.

As evidenced by my 27-year-old and her Hello Kitty shower curtain, the iconic feline certainly has fans who are of legal drinking age.  However, she was first attracted to Hello Kitty as a grade schooler and maintained that affection throughout her teen years.  I am sure if there had been a Hello Kitty wine available back then, she would have been intrigued.

The tagline on the Hello Kitty wine bottles read “Our favorite girl has grown up.”  While it’s true that Hello Kitty’s original fans have grown up, she’s still very popular among young girls.   I’m sure Barbie wouldn’t lend her name to an alcoholic beverage.  Should Hello Kitty?

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