New Bloomberg Rules on Soda Delivery Irk Cash-Strapped Consumers

Monday, 25 Feb 2013 11:06 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s bid to prevent New Yorkers from drinking large sodas is far more sweeping than previously thought, the new regulations show.

The Big Apple’s Health Department began sending brochures out last week to businesses affected by the ban, reports The New York Post, and while it was common knowledge that large sodas, such as 7-11’s “Big Gulp” would be prohibited, the measure also affects restaurant and bar sales as well.

For example, pizza deliveries can no longer include a two-liter bottle of soda, restaurants can no longer sell pitchers of soft drinks, and bars can’t include bottle-service mixers when customers order a bottle of liquor. The ban prohibits bars and restaurants from selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.

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Merchants said they were shocked to see the new rules, and said families will have to pay higher unit prices for smaller bottles. The prohibition does not affect sealed sodas that are sold in grocery stores, so some of the plan’s critics do not understand the ban on two-liter bottles sold through pizza shops.

“It’s ludicrous,” said Robert Bookman, a lawyer for the New York City Hospitality Alliance. “It’s a sealed bottle of soda you can buy in the supermarket. Why can’t they deliver what you can get in the supermarket?”

Families will also feel the pain at children’s party places, since plastic pitchers of drinks will no longer be sold, unless they contain 100 percent juice.

A night of bottle service will also cost more at New York nightclubs, where customers often buy a bottle of alcohol for their tables and get a full complement of mixers to stir into their drinks.

The carafes the mixers come in typically hold 32 ounces, and sodas, cranberry juice and tonic water will be limited, as only water and 100 percent juice can be sold.

There are a few exceptions. The ban doesn’t affect alcoholic drinks, diet sodas or coffee drinks. Customers can also order large fruit smoothies, but only if they don’t have added sweeteners, or large milkshakes if they contain at least 50 percent milk.

Vendors will face $200 fines if they violate the new rules.

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