Unit awareness drive unveiled

UK retailers today unveiled a national campaign to raise consumer understanding about the number of alcohol units in their drinks.

The campaign forms part of the industry’s commitment to the public health Responsibility Deal and is currently being rolled out in stores across the country.

It is supported by major retailer members of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Spar, Morrisons, the Co-op, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl.

The “How many units in your drink?” message will be displayed on posters, shelf barkers and till screen adverts in store to encourage consumers to understand how much alcohol is in their favourite drink.

The move follows extensive research conducted with consumers and retailers in partnership with Drinkaware.

The “2-2-2-1” message, which ties in with that currently on display in pubs and bars, shows the number of units in a typical can of 4% abv lager, 330ml bottle of 5% lager, 175 ml glass of 12% ABV wine and a single measure of a 40% ABV spirit.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley MP said: “It’s great to see all the major retailers getting behind the Responsibility Deal’s work to improve awareness of alcohol units.

“Thousands of stores around the country will now help people understand how many units are in drinks they buy and help them keep track of how much they are drinking.

WSTA interim chief executive Gavin Partington said: “This demonstrates the commitment of the major retailers to deliver the objectives of the public health Responsibility Deal by providing simple and effective unit information at point of sale to millions of consumers across the UK.”

James Lowman, chief executive of the ACS, added: “We are pleased to support this initiative and promote it in the convenience sector. Our experience of similar successful initiatives such as ‘Challenge 25’ (on preventing underage alcohol purchasing) shows that if consumers see the same message in all the places they shop then it will have more impact.

“We expect this initiative to grow in a similar way and have an impact on consumer awareness and attitudes.”

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