Campaigners target cheap off-trade booze

By Matt Eley Matt

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cheap supermarket booze Alcoholic beverage North west

Cheap supermarket booze has been blamed for causing health problems and hurting community pubs by campaigners in the North West. Mystery shoppers...

Cheap supermarket booze has been blamed for causing health problems and hurting community pubs by campaigners in the North West.

Mystery shoppers visited supermarkets in six towns and cities and found widespread examples of "alcohol being promoted and sold at pocket money prices".

The research was undertaken by campaign group Our Life - which brings together local authorities, the NHS, businesses and voluntary organisations to tackle health concerns.

As a result Our Life is now calling for a code of conduct for the off-trade and a minimum price per unit of alcohol to tackle irresponsible alcohol deals.

Calum Irving, Our Life head of campaigns and advocacy, said: "When you can buy 18 bottles of Becks lager for £5 from Tesco or a two-litre bottle of Sainsbury's cider for £1.21, or just 14p per unit, you have to wonder whether the supermarkets aren't just using cheap alcohol as a deliberate ploy to attract customers."

He added: "Supermarket cheap deals are also having a devastating effect on local pubs, many of which are having a difficult time in the current recession."

Our Life chief executive Dr Alison Giles added: "We know that the most harmful drinkers buy their alcohol from the supermarkets and young drinkers pre-load before hitting the pubs and clubs.

"These super-cheap deals are making it too easy for people to drink at harmful levels."

According to Our Life, who published the research as part of Alcohol Awareness Week, alcohol is now 75 per cent more affordable than it was in 1980 - which has coincided with a rise in alcohol related harm and violence in the region.

The Publican ​is also calling for a 50p minimum price per unit of alcohol to end irresponsible off-trade deals as part of the Make it the Minimum campaign.

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