The off-trade is also selling own-label cider at such low costs a man can breach his recommended daily alcohol limit for £1 and a woman for 75p, according to an investigation for The Cost of Cheap Alcohol, which will be aired at 8pm tonight.
The programme will examine how the nation’s drinking habits have changed and investigate “how the drinks industry have mobilised to fight off Government attempts to clamp down on cheap drink”.
A study for the Channel 4 show found that three of the UK’s biggest supermarkets have sold beer at such low-prices for the World Cup that it is cheaper than some mineral water. It said the cheapest lager was being sold by Tesco, which is selling multipacks of Fosters, Carlsberg and Carling for the equivalent of 69p a pint. Tesco’s 750ml bottle of Perrier was on sale at 73p a pint – as of noon, 23 June.
Furthermore, Asda and Tesco have been selling two litre bottles of their own-label cider at £2.25.
The programme, presented by openDemocracy founder Anthony Barnett, will also argue that the Government’s below-cost alcohol ban, stating that a 440ml can of 4% ABV beer will have to cost at least 41p, is “ineffective”. Following an analysis of thousands of drink prices in supermarkets over the past five years, Dispatches said it found not one drink sold below the floor prices brought in by the new scheme.
It will reflect back on David Cameron’s foreword to the Government’s alcohol strategy, launched in 2012, when he said he would bring in a new minimum unit price, adding: "When beer is cheaper than water, it’s just too easy for people to get drunk on cheap alcohol at home before they even set foot in the pub.”
Dr Nick Sheron, one of the country’s leading hepatologists, told the programme: “People’s personalities haven’t changed in the last 30 years, you know, human nature hasn’t changed. What’s changed is their environment. What’s changed is that they’re having cheap booze pushed at them by retailers… and their priority is to increase their profitability.”