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Minimum pricing will affect just 5% of wine

Just 5% of wines in the UK supermarket sector are selling below 40 pence per unit, according to the Wilson Drinks Report.

The drinks industry analyst considered the impact of minimum pricing on a basket of 191 wines and sparkling wines in the six major multiple grocers and found only nine SKUs were selling at less than 40p per unit, or approximately 5%.

Looking at the prices of these products in the same week the government announced its plan to impose a minimum unit price for alcohol in the UK, it appears the suggested 40p per unit would have little impact in the wine and sparkling wine category.

However, the Wilson Drinks Report also considered the spirits category, where it found as many as half of the 60 skus in its supermarket-based sample were price below 40p per unit.

Notably, 73% of those priced below the proposed minimum unit price were retailer own-label gin, vodka, white rum or whisky.

However, the report pointed out the number of unanswered questions in the proposed 40p per unit minimum pricing regime, such as whether it is legal under EU competition law, will retailers keep the extra revenue, and who will police the regime.

The impact of a 40p per unit minimum pricing regime can be seen in the table below.

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