The South African Breweries innovation that is helping drinkers stay safe on a night out.

South Africa has – according to Interpol – the highest incidence of rape in the world, with many cases linked to the use of 'date rape' drugs, where victims’ drinks are spiked in order to render them defenseless.

In a bid to tackle this growing problem, the Spike Detector drinks coaster was launched by South African Breweries (SAB) in April 2016, as part of South Africa’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month – a simple, but effective way of empowering consumers to be more proactive about their personal safety when on a night out.

A partygoer can place a drop of their drink on the coaster’s chemical sensor, which will immediately change color if any unsafe substances are detected; a crisis helpline number on the coaster offers access to instant medical assistance should it be needed.

Andrea Quaye, SAB Marketing Director, explains the thinking behind the Spike Detector, and the impact it is having.

“South Africa has an alarming rate of incidents of rape. Disturbingly, many cases are as a result of date rape drugs being used at nightclubs, bars and college campuses, and even, in some instances, in homes.

“The Spike Detector coaster is an exciting innovation that allows people to check instantly the safety of their drinks against date rape drugs, such as GHB and ketamine.”

The innovation has won plaudits for its responsible approach to such a serious issue and won an award at the Cannes Festival of Creativity for the way it has been taken up in bars across South Africa.

“This type of recognition for one of our initiatives is a great compliment to the time and effort we invest in making a positive difference to the communities in which we operate,” says Andrea.

“Our commitment to playing a significant role in addressing social ills is multi-faceted. This initiative is a great example of how we can help shape and contribute to a sociable world with a high regard for individual and community wellbeing.”

Click here to see the Spike Detector video