'MALTERNATIVES' TO BEER

The biggest development in the beer category this year is the proliferation of "malternatives," or malt-based drinks packaged to resemble spirits, said Gary Hemphill, senior vice president of information services, Beverage Marketing Corp., New York, a research and consulting firm.Smirnoff Ice, introduced in January 2001, was extremely successful last year, Hemphill and others said, accounting for

The biggest development in the beer category this year is the proliferation of "malternatives," or malt-based drinks packaged to resemble spirits, said Gary Hemphill, senior vice president of information services, Beverage Marketing Corp., New York, a research and consulting firm.

Smirnoff Ice, introduced in January 2001, was extremely successful last year, Hemphill and others said, accounting for much, if not most, of the 133.9% increase in case sales enjoyed by Guinness-Bass Import

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