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UK responsible drinking drive launched

A new campaign launches today which aims to enable UK consumers to better understand the importance of responsible drinking.

The joint initiative by Sainsbury’s, Drinkaware, Diageo and Heineken will be spearheaded by a publicity drive in Sainsbury’s supermarkets across the UK from today through to 24 January.

The campaign will emphasise the importance of managing alcohol intake and encourage consumers to develop a better understanding of alcohol units, as well as highlighting the variety of lighter style wines that are available.

The initiative forms part of Sainsbury’s 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan, in which the retailer has committed to doubling its sales of lighter alcohol wine by 2020.

On 6 and 7 January, in-store activity will include sampling, enabling customers to try samples of the lighter wines and alternative serve sizes of spirits and beer.

Customers will also have the chance to test their awareness of alcohol units by pouring a typical home measure and then finding out how many units are in it.

Each participating customer will receive a free unit wheel from Drinkaware to help them better judge the units and calories they are likely to consume across a wide range of wines, beers and spirits.

Health minister Paul Burstow said: “People’s understanding and awareness of alcohol units is still patchy. If advice on alcohol is going to mean something to people we must be able to know how much we’re actually drinking and compare that against the guidelines.

“I welcome the work that Sainsbury’s, Diageo and Heineken are doing, working together with Drinkaware, to improve people’s understanding of alcohol units and promote responsible drinking.

“It helps make it easier for us all to better gauge how many units we’re drinking.”

Throughout the campaign, lighter alcohol wine, pre-mixed cans of spirits and mixers plus smaller sized bottles of beer will be promoted to encourage consumers to sample drinks that are lighter in alcohol or that have a controlled serve size, making it easier for customers to consider their intake in terms of both serve size and units.

A promotional discount of 25% will be available on both branded and Sainsbury’s own label lighter style wines (abv 10.5% or less) and on Diageo-owned Perfectly Mixed pre-mixed spirit and mixer cans.

A promotional price of “Only £4” will also run on smaller sized 4 x 330ml packs of Heineken lager.

Helen Buck, chair of Sainsbury’s Responsible Drinking Group, said: “We know that after the excesses of the festive period, our customers often look for ways to help manage their alcohol intake.

“By working with our partners Drinkaware, Diageo and Heineken to provide customers with information about serve sizes and unit calculations at the relevant time, we hope to help them form a better understanding that will help ensure their alcohol intake remains at a responsible level into the longer term.”

Andy Adams, channel director for grocery at Diageo GB, added: “We are delighted to be part of this initiative alongside Sainsbury’s, Drinkaware and Heineken. This is a great opportunity to help raise people’s awareness of alcohol units and the importance of drinking responsibly.

“We hope this weekend’s activity, along with Diageo’s wider work supporting the Public Health Responsibility Deal, will help remind people how many units they are consuming.”

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