Price & Promotion


The low price of alcohol is a key driver of our heavy drinking culture. Alcohol is sold for as little as 68c per standard drink. This low price does not send a clear signal regarding the serious harms from alcohol.

Evidence clearly shows that increasing the price of alcohol can reduce consumption across all drinkers, including heavy and young drinkers.

If you could only choose one strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm, this would be it.

Price can be altered through a number of ways:

  • Increasing the rates of excise tax on alcohol
  • Setting a floor price for which alcohol can be sold (also called Minimum Unit Pricing)
  • Prohibiting or restricting alcohol promotions (e.g. happy hours, discounts)
  • Reducing the density of liquor outlets to decrease price competition

Promotion (including supermarket areas of alcohol display)

Alcohol retailers use numerous strategies (including discounting and other promotions) to encourage customers to purchase their products. New Zealanders buy a large proportion of their alcohol when it is being discounted.

New Zealand's new liquor laws require that all supermarkets and grocery stores describe an area within their stores where alcohol will be displayed and promoted.

In this section, you will learn more about the importance of increasing the price of alcohol products and reducing the promotion of alcohol. By advocating for price increases, you can make the biggest difference in alcohol harm in your community for generations to come.

Price matters.

Increasing the price of alcohol is one of the most effective ways to reduce alcohol use in our country. With less drinking, there is less harm.

We can increase the price of alcohol by increasing the excise tax on alcohol, and/or setting a minimum unit price on alcohol products. Because our wages (overall) have been growing at a faster rate than the inflation on goods (such as alcohol), the affordability of alcohol has increased over time. We can now buy more alcohol with our wages.

This section explains why community action on price is so important to reduce harm, particularly to those most vulnerable who often purchase the cheapest alcohol.


Alcohol companies and licensed premises use a vast number of promotional strategies to get customers to buy their products. 

The use of discounts has a huge effect on alcohol purchases. This especially occurs at off-licences (supermarkets, bottle stores, etc) but also in bars and restaurants ('happy hours', etc).

This section helps you to learn more about the promotions used to encourage purchases and how you can assist to ensure persons and companies promoting alcohol are abiding by the law. You can also take action to toughen the restrictions on promotion.


Supermarkets are one the most common places to purchase alcohol, particularly wine. When alcohol came into New Zealand supermarkets in 1989 (wine) and 1999 (beer), the alcohol retail landscape changed overnight. Wine consumption has now doubled and children continue to be exposed to alcohol marketing in these outlets. Even bottle stores buy their alcohol from supermarkets, given their low prices.

Our laws restrict the exposure to alcohol in supermarkets - alcohol must be displayed in a single area. Use this section to help you take action in relation to the promotion and exposure to alcohol in these everyday settings.