Scottish alcohol sales fall in first year of MUP, but fortified wine sales rise

Sales of alcohol in Scotland’s convenience stores and supermarkets fell by 3.6% in the 12-months after the country enforced minimum unit pricing (MUP) on all drinks, according to the NHS.

Overall, the volume of pure alcohol sold in Scotland fell from .from 7.4 to 7.1 litres.

The biggest impact was on cider sales, which fell by nearly a fifth (18.6%), spirits fell by 3.8%, wine volume sales fell 3%, and beer dropped by 1.1%.

Minimum Unit Pricing meant that the price per unit of cider rose from 13p to 56p, while wine jumped from 14p to 61p per unit.

MUP was finally implemented May 2018 after an extensive debate as part of the Scottish government’s strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm. The law made it illegal to sell alcohol in licensed premises in Scotland for less than 50p per unit.

However, sales of fortified wine actually rose by 16.4% in the same period, and this is due in part to how MUP works.. Buckfast is a fortified tonic wine with an ABV of 15% whereas Frosty Jacks has a 7.5% ABV, both of which are often referenced in discussions over problem drinking.

But as price is dictated by the amount of units per bottle, a standard 75cl bottle of Buckfast has remained unchanged at £7.99 while the three-litre cider bottle has increased from £3.70 to £11.25.

A study published earlier this month by NHS Health Scotland found many of the products favoured by the young people were, on average, already being sold above 50p per unit before MUP was introduced.

Scotland’s MUP policy has prompted academics and alcohol charities worldwide to support similar measures elsewhere. (MUP) of AU$1.30 per standard drink across Australia could dramatically reduce alcohol consumption across thr country, according to a study tabled by researchers at La Trobe University in Melbourne.

2 Responses to “Scottish alcohol sales fall in first year of MUP, but fortified wine sales rise”

  1. Dave says:

    But English sales are up. Could they be related?

    And don’t forget, this is just sales, not consumption. No estimates for duty free, booze cruises, mail order, homebrew, or black market alcohol …

  2. John says:

    For sure alcohol sales in England and Wales have risen whilst alcohol sales in Scotland have fallen because many Scottish residents are stocking up in England for themselves and family and friends
    This is what we do and we know plenty of people whose work takes them across the border or they’re down in England on holiday or visiting friends and family
    No doubt the Scottish Government in their infinite wisdom will increase MUP to 55p or 60p which will further increase sales in England and Wales

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters