Health boost

Alcohol sales fall in first year of minimum unit pricing

beer

Beer sales were among the fallers

Health professionals hailed a fall in the sale of alcohol in Scotland’s shops during the first year of minimum pricing.

The legislation, introduced in May 2018, was designed to improve the nation’s health and ministers will be encourage by these early results.

Figures showed that sales increased south of the border, where there is no minimum pricing, adding further credibility to the data.

NHS research found the volume of pure alcohol sold per person dropped from 7.4 to 7.1 litres – a fall of 3.6%. In England and Wales the volume rose from 6.3 to 6.5 litres.

The reduction in pure alcohol sold in Scotland was the equivalent of 26 units per person per person – about 12 pints of average strength beer.

The biggest impact of minimum unit pricing (MUP) was on cider sales which fell by nearly a fifth (18.6%).

The price of cider rose from 13p per unit on average to 56p following the law change.

Fortified wine – which had no price change from 60p per unit – was the only drink to show an increase, up 16.4%.

Sales of spirits fell by 3.8%, wine fell 3% and beer sales dropped to 1.1%.

Minimum pricing saw the price of beer and spirits rise 6p per unit on average, to 57p and 58p respectively, while wine jumped by 14p to 61p.

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