Your coverage of the proposed solutions to the UK’s drinking problem - reducing abv and introducing minimum pricing - shows the radical approaches being taken.
But when it comes to alcohol, emotions run deep - and there is a danger of leaping on ineffective solutions. For example, our analysis shows very little discernible change in buying behaviour from Scottish shoppers since legislation on promotions began in October. Our figures suggest older consumers, whose habits are entrenched, are most likely to drink to excess. It could be argued that pricing is unlikely to change their behaviour.
Minimum pricing will stop some promotions - but the assumption that cheaper alcohol leads people to drink more hasn’t been proven. In fact, as promotional activity has grown over the past few years, consumption has fallen.
It may be that for minimum pricing to have any effect it needs to be more draconian and set at a higher rate than 50p a unit. Will the government be willing to go that far?
Kevan Mulcahey, business unit director - alcohol, Kantar Worldpanel