Despite claims that the availability of cheap alcohol in supermarkets encourages binge drinking, only 14% of the general public blame supermarkets in any way for the phenomenon, according to an exclusive online survey undertaken for The Grocer by HI Europe.
The survey of 2,007 shoppers, which took place between July 7 and 11, revealed that while 19% of people felt that supermarkets were behaving irresponsibly in offering promotional deals, 70% felt they were not, while 11% were not sure.
A whopping 86% said that, either way, supermarkets were “not in any way to blame” for the nation’s alleged binge-drinking problem.
However, they did expect the supermarkets to tackle the problem, with 38% saying they would like to see them do more to spread the responsible drinking message.
HI Europe senior researcher Caroline North said: “Supermarkets are seen as having a social responsibility above and beyond their usual powers. People look to them as a place to be influenced to get advice and to be educated on these issues.”
As to whether shoppers were likely to change their behaviour, 44% of shoppers said they would be happy if alcohol were available to buy 24 hours a day at their local supermarket, while 32% said they would not be. Most people (85%) thought they would drink exactly the same amount if it were available to buy 24 hours a day.
>>p31 Think before you drink