You may not have heard of it, but I can guarantee that within six months or so it’ll definitely be on the radar. What is it?

pacoholPowdered alcohol. Or, because this is a peculiarly American invention and they like to do things like this, ‘Palcohol’. It’s exactly what it says on the tin, or on the air-tight package that it will be sold in, to be more precise. It is vodka or rum, broken down into a powdered form, to be mixed with water to serve.

The Alcohol Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau has approved the sale of powdered alcohol in the US. Already, a raft of states have moved to ban it, fearing that it could encourage teenagers to drink, that people will end up snorting it, or that it could be used to spike drinks in nightclubs.

My favourite response to these claims came from founder of the Palcohol company, Mark Phillips. “Even goofballs won’t snort Palcohol due to the pain the alcohol would cause,” he is reported to have said by the Daily Telegraph. Even goofballs…

The line from the Alcohol Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau was also interesting.

“Potential for abuse isn’t grounds for us to deny a label,” a spokesperson is quoted as saying.

It’s a line worth thinking about. Heaven forbid that the general public are trusted to try an innovative new product before legislation stops them from doing so. Obviously, this is only an internal debate in the US now, but when powdered alcohol makes its way over to the UK later this year or early next, it’s a debate that will undoubtedly be repeated here.

The alcohol category is one of the few places that we see true innovation in smaller stores, and it drives real excitement. It creates conversations like little else, drives footfall and helps your tills ring.

Is “Palcohol” the sort of thing that your own customer base would want to see? It might be good to start asking them now. If nothing else, it’s another way to get your customers talking.