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Scottish Alcohol Legislation

Scottish Alcohol Legislation Report

Brand View Insights reviews price and promotional trends taking place in different categories. This report provides a closer look at changes across  the Beers, Wines and Spirits sector.

On 1st October 2011, new licensing laws to amend the Alcohol etc Scotland Act 2010 came into force – including a ban on “irresponsible promotions” in supermarkets. The key changes for retailers include:

  • A ban on all quantity discounts such as ‘Buy One, Get One Free’ and similar Multibuy deals
  • A ban on multipack discounts – meaning a multipack can only be sold for the equivalent price as when buying the same items individually

Brand View has taken a look at the initial impact that this has had on prices and promotions in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and ASDA to answer some of the top questions we’ve received from our clients:

Have single lines been de-listed?

Despite concerns over mass de-listings of single items in order for supermarkets to offer heavier discounts on multipacks, promotional trends across the last few months indicate that this tactic has not been employed by retailers.

Have retailers changed their promotional mix?

Yes – trends show that promotional mechanics have been impacted. Over the last four weeks, the number of BWS products on Multibuy promotion has decreased from 333 to 92 , whilst the number of products on Price Reduction promotions over the same period has increased from 465 to 767. By comparison, the rest of the UK has seen relatively little movement in the number of Multibuy promotions.

Number of products on promotion in Scotland

Can I get a better deal if I live north of the border?

If you’re planning a trip north of the border, we suggest staying put for now. In response to the ban on Multibuy promotions, Scottish Retailers have simply compensated by offering Save Amount promotions of equivalent value. So a ‘2 for £6’ Multibuy promotion in England is now selling as the Save Amount deal ‘Now only £3’ in Scotland. The benefit to the consumer is that whilst they receive the same price offer in Scotland, they don’t have to purchase multiple items to get the same level of discount. However, we have found 12 products that are cheaper in Scotland (by 17p to be exact).


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