Speculation is rife in the ­industry as to Heineken's plans after the brewer pledged to reduce the abv of one of its leading brands as part of its commitment to the Responsibility Deal.

Heineken said it would make the reduction of one percentage point by 2013, although it refused to reveal the identity of the brand in question.

Most experts believe it is referring to its main cider brand Strongbow, with ­rivals suggesting it was ­really a move to bring the brand's strengths in the off-trade and on-trade into line. Currently drinkers buying Strongbow in the off-trade will get a product with an abv of 5.3% while the abv of the same brand sold in pubs and clubs is much lower at 4.5%.

As well as Heineken's move this week, Asda pledged to stop promoting booze in the entrance areas of its stores. "Our customers expect us to do the right thing," said CEO Andy Clarke.