Low Alcohol Drinks

Department of Health written question – answered on 29th January 2015.

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Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the sale of more low-alcohol drinks in pubs.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and its members have pledged through the Responsibility Deal (RD) to take action to help deliver the RD pledge to remove a billion units of alcohol from the market by the end of 2015, principally through improving consumer choice of lower alcohol products. Non BBPA members are encouraged to sign up too.

Pubs can deliver this commitment through a range of actions such as offering a house wine below 12.5%, actively promoting lower-alcohol products in their pubs, offering at least one non/lower alcohol beer.

Consumers have shown support for lower-alcohol products. This is demonstrated by the commitment to remove a billion units of alcohol from the market being achieved two years ahead of the target date and being 0.3 billion more than the target 1 billion reduction.

The reduction in the average strength of alcohol in the market has mainly been achieved by reductions in the average strength of beer - accounting for 1.2 billion of the 1.3 billion total reduction.

Pubs and shops also committed to voluntarily display unit and health information. Ipsos Mori carried out an independent survey this year, of whether the public saw such information. Their report found that over a quarter of respondents reported seeing a BBPA information image; over two in five 18-24 year-olds reported seeing at least one BBPA image; over a quarter of respondents have seen something similar, but different, to BBPA materials; more than half those seeing different materials also reported seeing BBPA materials.

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