News story

Responsibility Deal retail partners launch campaign on alcohol units for consumers

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Retailers launch campaign to increase understanding about alcohol.

As part of their commitment to the Department of Health’s Public Health Responsibility Deal, retailers have today launched a national campaign to raise consumer understanding about the number of alcohol units in their drinks.

The ‘How many units in your drink?’ message is currently being rolled out in stores across the UK. It is supported by the major retail members of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), British Retail Consortium and the Association of Convenience Stores, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Spar, Morrisons, the Co-op, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

_‘_Drinking too much can increase your risk of high blood pressure, cancer or liver disease. So it’s great to see all the major retailers getting behind the Responsibility Deal’s work to improve awareness of alcohol units.

‘Thousands of stores around the country will now help people understand how many units are in drinks they buy and help them keep track of how much they are drinking.

‘This coincides with the launch of a new Change4Life alcohol campaign - if people want to track their drinking they should visit the Change4Life website and use the new online drinks calculator.’

The ‘How many units in your drink?’ message will be displayed on posters, shelf adverts and till-screen adverts in stores, to encourage consumers to understand how much alcohol is in their drinks. This follows extensive research conducted with consumers and retailers in partnership with Drinkaware.

The ‘2-2-2-1’ message, which ties in with that currently on display in pubs and bars, shows the number of units in a typical can of 4% alcohol by volume (ABV) lager, a 330ml bottle of 5% ABV lager, a 175ml glass of 12% ABV wine and a single measure of a 40% ABV spirit.

Drinkaware Chief Executive Chris Sorek said: ‘Today’s announcement is an important step in educating consumers about alcohol units and how they translate into their favourite drinks. We welcome the WSTA and its members’ commitment to deliver this consumer-friendly guide and look forward to the campaign rolled out across the UK. We feel the “2-2-2-1″ approach will quickly become the way people keep track of their units on a night out.’

WSTA Interim Chief Executive Gavin Partington said: ‘This demonstrates the commitment of the major retailers to deliver the objectives of the Public Health Responsibility Deal by providing simple and effective unit information at point of sale to millions of consumers across the UK.’

Find out more about the Public Health Responsibility Deal.