Case for Change

Promotion of discounted alcohol beverages 

In New Zealand, around 78% of beer and wine purchased at off-licences is sold on promotion.1 This usually means that the product has been reduced in retail price. 

The impact of restricting the discounting of alcohol products has been studied.2 Results in the UK showed that total consumption would fall:

  • by 2.8% if a total ban of price discounting was implemented
  • by 1.6% if a ban on price discounting to no greater than 10% was implemented
  • by 0.8% if a ban on price discounting to no greater than 20% was implemented
  • by 0.3% if a ban on price discounting to no greater than 30% was implemented

The study found that restrictions affected wine consumption the most – banning discounts greater than 10% would reduce wine consumption by 11.2%.

According to an Australia study,3 young people are very aware of in-store sale promotions in order to maximise their alcohol purchases within their budgets. Cheap alcohol also facilitates social get-togethers that would not have occurred otherwise.

The following quote from the study is a good example of the effects of alcohol discounts:

“So you buy like maybe a carton or something. But then if there's two cartons or the second one is half price, you wouldn’t probably then save it for another night, you'd just yeah kinda get more people in. It changes the way you kinda approach the night (P38, M, 18, Risky drinker, Focus Group).”

References - Promotion of discounted alcohol beverages

  1. White J, Lynn R, Ong SW, Whittington P, Condon C, Joy S. The Effectiveness of Alcohol Pricing Policies; Ministry of Justice. 2014. Retrieved from (Accessed 21 August 2017
  2. Meier P, Brennan A, Purhouse R, et al. Modelling the potential impact of pricing and promotion policies for alcohol in England. Results from the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model 2009. Independent Review of the Effects of Alcohol Pricing and Promotion: Part B. University of Sheffield. Retrieved from!/file/PartB.pdf [Accessed 21 August 2017].
  3. Pettigrew, S., Biagioni, N., Jones, S. C., Daube, M., Kirby, G., Stafford, J., & Chikritzhs, T. (2015). Sales promotion strategies and youth drinking in Australia. Social Science & Medicine, 141, 115-122.