Brewers on track to deliver pledged cut in alcohol units

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Abv Beer Pledge

Brewers on track to deliver unit cuts
Brewers on track to deliver unit cuts
Carlsberg UK has removed 30m alcohol units while Heineken is “on track” to take out 100m by the end of the year, the breweries have stated as part of their commitment to the Government’s Responsibility Deal on alcohol.

Alcohol producers collectively pledged to remove one billion units by 2015 as part of the alcohol pledges in the Public Health Responsibility Deal between the Government and businesses. Suppliers are generally achieving their targets by reducing the ABV of their existing brands and delivering new lower alcohol products.

Heineken UK, the first company to commit to the reduction of ABV, made a pledge in 2011 to remove 100m of alcohol units by the end of 2013. Updating the Department of Health on its progress, the brewery said it was “on track” to meet its target.

In the past year, the brand has reduced the ABV of bottled and canned Strongbow and John Smith’s, and launched the 2% ABV Foster’s Radler.

Heineken said: “As a responsible alcohol producer, we believe we have an important role to play in tackling alcohol misuse and encouraging people to drink responsibly.  

“By reducing the strength of our existing popular brands, we are helping our consumers make responsible choices.”

Meanwhile, Carlsberg Export UK said its contribution to the pledge “will now total around 30 million units”.

Last year Carlsberg’s decision to reduce the ABV of its second biggest brand Carlsberg Export from 5% to 4.8% removed more than 15m units from the market, while the ABV reduction of the Skol brand in cans to 2.8% is estimated to deliver a further 2m unit reduction. Skol is now the biggest selling 2.8% beer in the market.

Carlsberg has launched a 2.8% beer, Carlsberg Citrus, which compared to the average strength in the category is a reduction of over 5 million units. The brewery will also be reducing the ABV of Tuborg, which will take a further 8m units out of the market.

Carlsberg UK said: “Clearly, with overall consumption reducing, these reductions may not result in achieving the figures quoted, but assuming current volumes, Carlsberg UK’s contribution to the pledge will now total around 30 million units.”

Molson Coors also pledged to deliver a 50 million unit reduction by 2015, and made progress with the launch of Carling Zest (2.8% ABV), which is available in different flavours for each season.  

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