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Maloofs offer hangover remedy

b01_jd_08apr_nevernewCopyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal

The Maloof family rose to prominence in New Mexico with a beer and spirits business.

Now it’s in the Land of Enchantment to sell a drink it says can help prevent hangovers.

The Maloofs have chosen to begin the wide release of their drink, Never Hungover, in Albuquerque. The beverage will start arriving in some local drug, liquor and grocery stores this week.

The Maloof company is using Admiral Beverage to distribute Never Hungover throughout New Mexico. Admiral bought the Maloofs’ longtime Coors distributorship, Joe G. Maloof Co., in 2010.

It was the family’s last business tie to New Mexico.

While the Maloofs’ company remains headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., and Never Hungover is made in Austin, Texas, Joe Maloof said this week that it made sense to target Albuquerque for the brand’s expansion.

Never Hungover launched in January through an exclusive deal with GNC, but now it can be sold in other stores.

“We consider (Albuquerque) our home. We grew up in Albuquerque and love the state,” Maloof said by phone, noting the family’s trust in Admiral and its connection to the larger New Mexico community.

“We know a lot of the customers, we know a lot of the retailers,” he said. “We have a lot of friends there and a little bit of family. We thought it would be perfect.”

Walgreens, Lowe’s grocery stores, Kelly Liquors and the Quarters package store will be among the first Albuquerque retailers to stock Never Hungover, according to Admiral General Manager Greg Brown.

Admiral – which has five warehouses and 375 employees in New Mexico – will continue adding retailers and eventually upping distribution to the Las Cruces and Santa Fe areas. The plan also includes getting Never Hungover into bars and restaurants, Brown said.

Never Hungover – described as “a dietary supplement” featuring a natural blend of vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, nutrients and minerals – is sold in two-ounce bottles. The suggested retail price is $2.99.

Joe Maloof would not say how much was sold at GNC the last three months but that it was successful enough that the vitamin/supplement chain was increasing the number of stores that stock it from 2,500 to 4,000.