S&NUK slams cheap supermarket booze

By Hamish Champ

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cheap supermarket booze, Supermarket, Alcoholic beverage

Brewer Scottish & Newcastle UK (S&NUK) has slammed Britain's supermarket chains for selling its beers on the cheap.In a submission to the...

Brewer Scottish & Newcastle UK (S&NUK) has slammed Britain's supermarket chains for selling its beers on the cheap.

In a submission to the Competition Commission, which is looking into claims that the big grocery retailers are squeezing out smaller, independent players, S&NUK said it "viewed with concern the willingness of the major multiples to invest in relatively cheap beer and cider prices to drive 'footfall' within this sector".

The group said the sale of alcoholic drinks at low cost - even below cost - was not consistent with the promotion of responsible drinking.

"There is now firm anecdotal evidence that drinkers are consuming cheap alcohol at home prior to crossing over into the on-trade for a night out and then topping up at pubs and bars," S&NUK's submission went on.

"Furthermore, with the advent of public place smoking bans now in Scotland and due in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we expect the demand for this kind of consumption to increase."

The emphasis on low price to drive customers into the store "was an unwelcome feature of the grocery market", it concluded.

Sainsbury's and Tesco were unavailable for comment.

The deadline for final submissions to the Competition Commission's inquiry is September 2007, with the report published the following month.

Related topics: Beer

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