The price of alcohol
- Cheap and discounted alcohol increases the demand for alcohol and encourages heavier drinking.
- The introduction of alcohol (beer, wine and mead) into supermarkets (wine in 1989 and beer in 1999) had a considerable impact on lowering the price of alcohol. The price of any particular beer or wine is generally found to be cheaper in supermarkets than bottle stores.
- The introduction of ready-to-drinks (RTDs or alcopops) also had a considerable impact on drinking, particularly on young people. They are relatively cheap and attractive to young people.
- Increasing the retail price of alcohol is one of the most effective strategies to reduce accessibility and alcohol-related harm. It can be achieved in a number of ways including; increasing excise tax, introducing Minimum Unit Pricing, restricting the promotion of discounted alcohol.
The low price of alcohol is a key driver in our drinking culture.
Alcohol is now more affordable than it has ever been. Wine has particularly become more affordable. This means that it now takes us less time to earn enough money to buy a standard drink.
In New Zealand, off-licences are now selling approximately 75% of all alcohol. Supermarkets are big players in the retail market.
High liquor outlet density in a community may lead to competition, which drives prices down.
Increasing the price of alcohol is one of the strongest tools in our kete / basket to reduce harm. A large body of high-quality research suggests that a 10% increase in price reduces overall alcohol consumption by 5%. In fact, it is the most important strategy.