A few years ago, I pointed out how anti-drink campaigners were misleadingly claiming that less than 50% of drinks sold in the off-trade carried the official government safe drinking
propaganda information. This may have been true in terms of individual product lines, but when you looked at it in terms of the actual volumes sold, the figure jumped up to over 90%.
We are now seeing something similar with a report that only 8% of off-trade drinks are sold below the proposed minimum price of 40p per unit. 8% isn’t much, it will be argued, so the minimum price will scarcely make any difference to most drinkers. However, once again this is looking at individual products, not at overall volumes. Almost by definition there is likely to be more product proliferation at the top end of the market, and a £12.99 bottle of Chablis is not going to be remotely the equivalent in sales terms of a slab of Carling.
A recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies showed that 71% of all alcohol units bought in the off-trade ware under 45p per unit, and from this I would expect the figure for those under 40p to be well over 50%. Rather different from 8%.